By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the human West Nile virus (WNV) situation in Maricopa County, AZ, county health officials say this is the worst WNV season in 10 years.


Through September 5, 137 human cases have been reported, including 11 fatalities. In all of 2018, 24 cases were reported.

Nationally, the CDC reports 326 cases and 15 deaths as of September 4.

West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999 and in Arizona in 2003. It is transmitted via mosquitoes.

The majority of people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms or only mild illness. Most individuals who have symptoms will experience “flu-like” illness, including fever, headache, body aches, swollen glands, and muscle weakness. Symptoms usually last for a few days or weeks. In some cases, West Nile virus can cause more serious conditions including encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (an inflammation of the linings of the brain and spinal cord). Signs of more serious disease can include high fever, headache, confusion, disorientation, seizures, and coma.

There is no human vaccine for West Nile virus, and there are no specific treatments. The best way to prevent West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites.