By NewsDesk @bactiman63
In a follow-up on the record West Nile virus (WNV) outbreak in Arizona this year, state health officials now report 763 total cases (275 confirmed and 488 probable) through Oct. 27. This is up from 55 total cases two weeks ago and by far the most in the United States.
704 of the cases, or 92 percent were reported in Maricopa County, the home of the city of Phoenix. The county also accounts for 95 percent of the WNV deaths reported year to date (54 of the 57 fatalities).
Maricopa County has a case fatality of more than 7 percent.
In 2020, Maricopa County saw three WNV cases and one death.
It takes 2-6 days for a person to develop symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito infected with WNV.
Only 1 out of 5 people with WNV will have symptoms. Individuals may develop a fever with other symptoms, such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people who experience these symptoms will recover completely, although fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
Severe illness can occur in people at any age; however, people over 60 years of age are at the greatest risk for severe illness. Additionally, individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants are also at greater risk for serious illness. In more severe cases, the illness can affect the brain causing encephalitis (swelling of the brain) or meningitis (swelling of the surrounding brain tissues). The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis. Recovery from severe illness may take several weeks or months and some of the neurologic problems may be permanent. Rarely, death can occur.
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