Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bye Bye West Nile Virus???

My favorite place these days is my porch where I stay from the time I arrive home in the evening into the dark. Given my semi-paranoia regarding mosquito bites, I always burn citronella candles and cover myself with insect spray. So I was delighted to see the new article in MMWR regarding West Nile Virus activity in the US. As shown in the graph, the incidence of WNV neuroinvasive disease (i.e., meningitis, encephalitis, or acute flaccid paralysis) has fallen from its peak in 2002 at slightly over 1.0 case per 100,000 population to 0.2 in 2009. The reason for the falling incidence is unknown, though the editorial comments cite possible factors such as increasing immunity in birds, less reporting of cases by the medical community, or better use of mosquito repellents by humans. Keep spraying the Off!

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