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  1. 1. Texas West Nile OutbreakMost Deadly in the Nation
  2. 2. Summary: The West Nile virus has infected at least 552 people in Texas, according to theTexas Department of State Health Services. So far 21 people have died, compared to only 2 West Nile-related deaths in the state during 2011.
  3. 3. (August 21, 2012) – Texas officials have declared a state of emergency as the West Nile virus continues to spread, causing sickness and even death, especially among the elderly and thosewith weakened immune systems. So far Texas leads the US in both illness and fatalities, with 552 confirmed West Nile cases and 21deaths. Health officials in neighboring Louisiana have reported only 92 cases with 6 deaths, while Oklahoma has had 61 cases and 3 deaths.
  4. 4. West Nile virus is spread by mosquitos, which pick up the virus by feeding on infected birds and then pass it on to people. While 80% of those who become infected withWest Nile virus have minimal or no symptoms, about 20%of infected individuals will show mild symptoms includingheadache, fever, skin rashes, joint pain, and swollen lymphglands. Most people with mild cases of West Nile virus will recover fully even without medical treatment, although the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does recommend that anyone who develops these symptoms following a mosquito bite should see their doctor right away.
  5. 5. Less than 1% of infected individuals will develop severesymptoms such as high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscleweakness, loss of vision, numbness, and paralysis. These symptoms may last for several weeks or even become permanent in some instances.
  6. 6. And in the most extreme cases, infection with West Nile virus can cause serious neurologic illness, such asencephalitis, meningitis, or death. According to the CDC, thepeople most at risk for serious reactions are adults over age 50 and individuals with underlying certain medical conditions including cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and organ transplants, along with those whose immune systems have been compromised.
  7. 7. The greatest risk for West Nile virus infection typicallybegins in June and runs through September in the US, withcases peaking in mid-August. Anyone at risk for developing severe reactions to West Nile infections is advised to actively take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.
  8. 8. The CDC recommends using insect repellants when going outside; wearing long sleeves and pants from dawn to dusk; installing window and door screens and keeping them in good repair; using air conditioning whenpossible rather than opening windows; and removing any open sources of standing water that is not changed frequently such as flowerpots, birdbaths, buckets, old tires, and childrens wading pools. More information about West Nile virus symptoms, treatments and infection prevention tips can be found at
  9. 9. In addition to the CDCs official site, a number of otherwebsites are helping to spread awareness about the alarmingrise in West Nile virus infections and fatalities in Texas. Among these is Home/328296373930484 a Facebook fanpage that offers an online community where people can share their thoughts and comments about the latest Texas news and events.
  10. 10. "We feel it is very important to get the news out about how dangerous the 2012 West Nile outbreak can be for seniors and others whose health puts them at risk," notes pageadministrator S.S. Ober-Lehn. "And Facebooks international appeal makes the Texas Proud to Call It Home fanpage a natural place for anyone who is concerned about the rising incidence of West Nile infections and fatalities in Texas to come together to discuss this serious situation and help spread awareness about it."
  11. 11. To find out more about current news and events in Texas, please visit Home/328296373930484