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Related terms: West Nile Fever

Health Tip: Keep Mosquitos Out of Your Yard

Posted 12 Jun 2017 by

-- In addition to being a nuisance and a source of itch, mosquitos can carry a host of serious diseases, including Zika and West Nile. So how do you rid them from your yard? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests: Every week, empty and clean any outside containers that may hold water. These may include trash cans, bird baths or planters. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. If your outside container doesn't have a lid, cover with a wire mesh. Make sure the mesh is smaller than the size of an adult mosquito. If you have a large container that you can't empty, treat it with larvicide (but don't let any person or pet drink the water). Repair any cracks or holes in your septic tank, and cover any plumbing or vent pipes with fine wire mesh. Apply insecticide in your yard. Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection, Diethyltoluamide

Not All Mosquitoes Need Standing Water to Breed: Study

Posted 12 Apr 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 – The standard wisdom on curbing mosquitoes is to eliminate pools of standing water where they might breed. But new research on a major family of mosquito species finds that may not always be enough. The study, by a team at the University of Florida, found that most species within the Culex family lay their eggs in more varied locations than just "floating egg rafts," as was previously thought. In the study, Culex mosquitoes were placed in screened cages with dishes containing both standing water and partially submerged objects, such as a terra cotta pot or segments of mangrove roots. The researchers were surprised to find that most of the mosquitoes' "egg clusters" were laid on the dry surfaces of the terra cotta and roots – not on the surface of the water. This suggests that the "generalized floating egg raft strategy does not apply to the vast majority of ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection

New Technology Makes Gene Mapping Cheaper, Faster: Study

Posted 23 Mar 2017 by

THURSDAY, March 23, 2017 – Scientists say they've developed a much cheaper and faster technology for mapping the genetic makeup of a living organism. They demonstrated the technology by decoding the DNA of the mosquito species that transmits the Zika virus. The original Human Genome Project took 10 years and cost $4 billion, but this new 3-D assembly method did the same in a few weeks for less than $10,000, the researchers reported. This new approach determines the sequence of each chromosome by studying how the chromosomes fold inside the nucleus of a cell. It can be used on any patient, or any species for that matter, they added. "As physicians, we sometimes encounter patients who we know must carry some sort of genetic change, but we can't figure out what it is," study co-author Dr. Aviva Presser Aiden said in a Baylor College of Medicine news release. "To figure out what's going ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Zika Virus Infection

Drought May Beckon Bigger West Nile Outbreaks

Posted 8 Feb 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – A parched climate might be the perfect environment for spreading West Nile virus, a new study suggests. Researchers examined 15 years of data on West Nile virus infections in people across the United States and found that epidemics were larger during years of drought. There were also bigger outbreaks in areas that had not experienced large epidemics of the mosquito-borne virus in the past. "We found that drought was the dominant weather variable correlated with the size of West Nile virus epidemics," study author Sara Paull, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said in a university news release. She is now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. West Nile first appeared in North America in 1999, and since then has caused outbreaks each summer. But there has been significant variation in the severity of those ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites, Diethyltoluamide

New Clues to Huge Jump in U.S. Mosquito Population

Posted 6 Dec 2016 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 – New research hints at why the number of mosquitoes has jumped 10-fold in the past 50 years in certain U.S. states: Increased urbanization and shrinking levels of the pesticide DDT in the environment could be major factors. "At first glance, recent increases in mosquito populations appear to be linked to rising temperatures from climate change, but careful analyses of data over the past century show that it's actually recovery from the effects of DDT," said study co-author Marm Kilpatrick. He is an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Still, Kilpatrick said, climate change may be a factor going forward. "On the cold edge of a species' distribution, temperature matters a lot. In Washington, D.C., for example, where Aedes aegypti is not common now, it might become more common if the winters get ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Malaria Prophylaxis, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

U.S. Death Toll From Infectious Diseases Unchanged: Study

Posted 22 Nov 2016 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – The war against infectious diseases – medicine versus microbes – has been holding steady, with the U.S. death rate from these diseases about the same now as it was in 1980, new research says. But some of the specific disease threats have changed over the years, the study authors noted. Researchers found that the national death rate from infections stood at almost 46 deaths per 100,000 people in 2014. That compared with 42 per 100,000 in 1980. There were some major shifts during that time, however. The overall death rate went as high as 63 per 100,000 in 1995, owing to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, according to the study. AIDS deaths declined from then on, with the introduction of the "drug cocktails" that have turned HIV into a manageable chronic disease. But while there was progress against HIV, deaths from pneumonia and flu complications held steady over the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Pneumonia, HIV Infection, Clostridial Infection, Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Prevention of Clostridium Difficile Infection Recurrence, Adjunct to Antibiotic Therapy

West Nile's Long-Term Death Toll May Be Higher Than Thought

Posted 14 Nov 2016 by

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 – A new study suggests that the death toll from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus might be much greater than thought because its effects may often kill people months or years after infection. "We are hoping our research findings will help encourage a push to develop a vaccine that can help prevent disease and premature death," said study co-author Dr. Kristy Murray, an associate professor with National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "At this time, the only way people can prevent the disease is protecting themselves from mosquito bites, which can sometimes be difficult to do." According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 44,000 people have been diagnosed with West Nile virus disease since 1999, and many more cases weren't picked up by surveillance. While most infected people don't get sick, an ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites

When It Comes to West Nile, Robins Do It, Cardinals Don't

Posted 9 Aug 2016 by

MONDAY, Aug. 8, 2016 – Cardinals, common backyard birds in parts of the United States, may help protect people against West Nile virus, a new study indicates. Researchers wanted to learn why the infection rate for the mosquito-borne virus in Georgia has remained low even though about one-third of birds in the Atlanta area have been exposed to the virus. A similar pattern is evident throughout the Southeast, but the situation is the opposite in many cities in the Northeast and Midwest. For example, West Nile infection rates in Chicago are six times higher than Atlanta's, even though less than 20 percent of birds in Chicago have evidence of infection, the study team said. The researchers focused on birds, particularly American robins. They are considered "super-spreaders" of West Nile because they efficiently pass the virus along to mosquitoes that bite them. Those mosquitoes can then ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites

Zika Vaccine Efforts Get Boost From Prior Research

Posted 28 Jan 2016 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2016 – Efforts to create a Zika vaccine are getting a leg up from lessons learned during earlier battles against other mosquito-borne viruses, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. Researchers are working on two potential vaccines, each based on earlier vaccines created in response to prior outbreaks of West Nile virus and dengue, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a morning news conference. "It is to our advantage that we already have existing vaccine platforms to use as a sort of jumping-off point," Fauci said. A Zika vaccine could be ready for clinical trial by later this year, but Fauci warned that it will likely take years before the vaccine is ready for market. "It is important to understand that we will not have a widely available safe and effective Zika vaccine this year, and probably ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Zika Virus Infection

West Nile Virus Most Common Mosquito-Borne Illness in U.S.

Posted 3 Sep 2015 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 3, 2015 – West Nile virus, which first appeared in the United States in 1999, continues to be the most common mosquito-borne illness in the country, federal health officials reported Thursday. Of 2,327 cases of mosquito-transmitted disease identified in 2014, there were 2,205 cases of West Nile, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California, Texas and Arizona reported two-thirds of the cases of West Nile, the CDC researchers said. Most people – an estimated 75 percent – infected with West Nile virus won't develop any symptoms, according to the CDC. Less than 1 percent of people will develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis, which is inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. Symptoms of severe cases can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus

As Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Threaten U.S., Less Money Spent Fighting Them

Posted 11 Jun 2015 by

THURSDAY, June 11, 2015 – Diseases spread by mosquitos pose a growing threat to the health of Americans, with the risk at its greatest during these hot summer months. But you wouldn't know that from the amount of money being spent to track West Nile virus, dengue, chikungunya and other illnesses spread by pests like mosquitos, ticks and fleas, a new study reports. Funding has dropped by nearly two-thirds for state and local surveillance programs aimed at preventing insect-borne diseases, according to a report published online June 10 in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. The decrease in funding has led to the partial dismantling of these programs, making it tougher to prevent or respond to outbreaks, said study author Dr. James Hadler, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, in New Haven, Conn. "We can't put out specific information about current or ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus, Chikungunya Virus Infection

Health Tip: Keep Mosquitoes at Bay

Posted 19 Jun 2014 by

-- Mosquito bites can be more than just an itchy annoyance; they can transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus. The California Department of Public Health suggests how to help prevent mosquito bites: As standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, promptly eliminate any standing water around your home. Stay indoors during the times when mosquitoes are most active, notably at dusk and dawn. Use an insect repellent that protects against mosquitoes, such as those that include DEET, IR-3535, oil of lemon, eucalyptus or picaridin. Check window screens to make sure they do not need repair. Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus Has Cost U.S. Nearly $800 Million: CDC

Posted 10 Feb 2014 by

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2014 – West Nile virus-related hospitalizations and follow-up in the United States cost $778 million in health care expenses and lost productivity from 1999 through 2012, which is much higher than previously reported, according to a new study. That works out to a cost of about $56 million a year over the 14 years examined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers. West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. About one in five people infected with the virus will develop symptoms such as fever, joint pain and headache. However, about one in 150 will develop a serious nervous system (neurologic) condition such as encephalitis or meningitis and require hospitalization, according to an American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene news release. The researchers examined more than 37,000 cases of West Nile virus reported to the CDC from 1999 ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus

2012 Texas West Nile Outbreak Linked to Mild Winter

Posted 16 Jul 2013 by

TUESDAY, July 16 – An unusually mild winter and an early appearance of infected mosquitoes may have fueled a deadly outbreak of West Nile virus in Texas last summer, a new study finds. Mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus to humans, and while most infections cause no serious problems, a small number of people suffer potentially fatal inflammation around the brain or spinal cord. After several years of laying low, the West Nile virus resurged last summer in the United States, killing 286 people – the most in one year since 1999. Texas accounted for one-third of all confirmed infections, with the Dallas area, where 19 people died, the hardest hit. In the new study, published July 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers tried to figure out why. Using local weather data for the past decade, they found that the winters before the 2012 outbreak, and before a ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus

Unusual Heat May Have Boosted West Nile Virus Last Year: CDC

Posted 13 May 2013 by

MONDAY, May 13 – Higher-than-normal temperatures last year may have led to an increase in West Nile virus cases, say U.S. health officials. More deaths from West Nile virus were reported in 2012 – 286 in all – than in any year since 1999, when the mosquito-borne disease was first detected in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday. And the total number of cases – 5,674 – was the largest on record since 2003. "Last summer's outbreak likely resulted from many factors, including higher-than-normal temperatures that influenced mosquito and bird abundance, the replication of the virus in its host mosquitoes, and interactions of birds and mosquitoes in hard-hit areas," the CDC stated in an advisory. Texas accounted for 33 percent of all reported West Nile virus cases in 2012, the agency said. Other states with the greatest concentration of ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus

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