Health Officials Around The US Are Not In Agreement About The Seriousness Of The West Nile Virus
So far it is hard to tell if the West Nile virus will cause more health problems this year compared to last year. Public health officials in the midwest do not seem too concerned with the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, officials in the western US may not feel the same way. Certain regions of the US seem to be experiencing a higher than normal amount of West Nile-related health problems. Unfortunately, the National risk that the virus poses to Americans is hard to determine, as only state-by-state data is available.
Illinois is one state where the virus has not caused nearly as many health issues as it did last year. Illinois contains the third most populous US city, Chicago. This is why many experts are keeping a close eye on the movement of the virus in the state of Illinois. According to Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, so far this year Illinois has seen fewer infected mosquitoes and fewer dead birds compared to last year. At this time last year, Illinois had seen eighty seven cases of West Nile, but this year only sixteen cases of the virus have been reported. This is no doubt a major improvement. However, populous regions like southern California are seeing deaths resulting from the virus.
So far this year three deaths have resulted from individuals contracting the West Nile virus in southern California. The three deaths were reported in Kearns, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. So far this year LA County has seen forty six cases of West Nile. The amount of individuals infected last year in LA County was one hundred and fifty three. This may seem comparatively low. However, West Nile cases normally start appearing in September, and cases are often reported until November in Los Angeles. Predicting the toll that West Nile will take on the population of Los Angeles and its surrounding counties is hard to predict at this early stage. But health officials in California do not feel as optimistic, as some other state health officials.
Do you think that people are learning to take better precautions against mosquitoes in America?