Infection Control - West Nile Virus in U.S.A - CDC update


Book Reviewer
Caught a tv report about West Nile Virus in Southern U.S ....

Slightly more hysterical version from Texas-based station

Seems the Atlanta based Centre for Disease Control has issued an updated threat sheet

CDC West Nile Virus Homepage

2012 West Nile virus update: as of August 21

Thus far in 2012, 47 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 1118 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 41 deaths, have been reported to CDC. Of these, 629 (56%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 489 (44%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.

The 1118 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the third week in August since West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999. Approximately 75 percent of the cases have been reported from 5 states (Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma) and almost half of all cases have been reported from Texas
Outbreaks of WNV encephalitis in humans have occurred in Algeria in 1994, Romania in 1996-1997, the Czech Republic in 1997, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998, Russia in 1999, the United States in 1999-2003, and Israel in 2000. Epizootics of disease in horses occurred in Morocco in 1996, Italy in 1998, the United States in 1999-2001, and France in 2000, and in birds in Israel in 1997-2001 and in the United States in 1999-2002. infections in (tourist rich) southern Florida then? Different kind of no-seeums maybe....

Don Cabra
I think that POTUS ought to declare war on Viruses and then we can look forward to a damn good bombing of the West Nile followed by our participation in a futile occupation to keep the West Nile Virus off the streets of Britain.

Cynical? Moi?


Book Reviewer
pooh pooh, nothing to see here, move along
Indeed.....but I'd be interested to know whether blood donors are now routinely excluded from giving blood within six months of visiting ANY state in CONUS...bearing in mind that according to one of the NYC experts on vector borne infection it seems that in six mosquitoes in New York have been found to carry the virus.....

And if anyone knows why in swamp-ridden Florida they appear to have recorded only 3 cases all up in the North of the state - what, Miami don't got no steenkin' mosquitoes?

Also, according to the 'survivor' the disease is easily misdiagnosed ( three blood tests and a spinal tap to confirm? ouch...)

Ratty, stand forth - your hour has struck !

( Spookily a mosquito just died on my keyboard...)
Are they tested every time they wish to donate?
That's fine, but are they relying on people actually declaring that they were in an infected area. If payment is received for donation then wouldn't being excluded mean that some would not admit to it?


Book Reviewer
Yes, the same as they are reliant on people declaring numerous other things that may or may not exclude you from donating.
CV - I'm a Donor, and quite used to ticking all the boxes with NO ( although slightly set aback to learn that I was barred for 6 months after a short trip to Bastion !)

Given that 47 US states are now affected seasonally by WNV (including New York City) I will take a close look at the Donor Information sheet next time.

It's not that donors want to ignore hazard: I suspect majority won't even be aware that a shopping trip to NYC between May and September has potentially exposed them to WNV and needs to be mentioned at the donation point?

But if it is now routinely tested for - cool. Thanks for the update.

( But if there is a simple test for WNV - why is it difficult to diagnose ? Dumb non-clinician type question...)

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