West Nile Virus is still a major issue in agricultural and rural areas, not only in California, but across the nation. It’s also an issue for anyone who is in jeopardy of being stung by a mosquito! There are some facts that people should be aware of, even though treatment and prevention have taken some of the “sting” out of the disease!
In regards to humans, the worst case histories were tallied in 2004 and 2005:
In 2004, 779 people were infected, including 29 deaths; in 2005, 880 people and 19 deaths were reported. In 2006, 278 people were affected, with 7 deaths. In 2007, the numbers jumped again; there were 380 bitten by WNV and 21people died.
Thus far, for 2008, human cases have numbered:
YTD (year to date): 92 But, so far, ZERO ( 0 ) deaths have occurred in 2008
Counties Affected in CA: 13
There were 19 new WNV positive human cases reported in California last week from the following counties: Butte (1), Orange (7), Riverside (6), Sacramento (1), San Diego (1), and San Joaquin (3). There have been 0 WNV-related fatalities reported in California this year. 92 human cases from 13 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2008.
The history of horses affected by WNV in California parallel the same trend:
In 2004, 540 were hit with WNV. In 2005, there were 456 attacked. In 2006, the number dropped to 58, and in 2007, the number dropped further, to 28.
For 2008, horses affected included:
Counties Affected in CA: 4
There has been 1 WNV-related horse euthanized or died in California this year from Riverside county. 5 horses from 4 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2008.
Dead birds that were identified as being hit by WNV, the history includes:
In 2004, 3,232 were found; in 2005, 3,046 were found; in 2006, 1,446 were found, and in 2007, 1,395 dead birds were found to be diseased.
For 2008, so far, dead birds reported with WNV:
Counties Affected in CA: 35
There were 160 new WNV positive dead birds reported in California last week from the following counties: Butte (3), Calaveras (1), Contra Costa (6), Glenn (2), Los Angeles (36), Orange (35), Riverside (5), Sacramento (7), San Bernardino (24), San Diego (36), San Joaquin (1), Santa Clara (1), Sonoma (1), and Tehama (2). This is the first WNV positive dead bird from Sonoma County this year. This is the first indication of WNV from Calaveras and Tehama counties this year. 1,295 dead birds from 35 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2008.
Mosquito samples taken that revealed WNV included, historically:
In 2004, 1,136. In 2005, 1,242. In 2006, 832, and in 2007, 1,007.
So far, for 2008, mosquito samples collected totalled:
Counties Affected in CA: 24
There were 195 new WNV positive mosquito samples reported in California last week from the following counties: Alameda (1), Butte (3), Contra Costa (7), Fresno (5), Imperial (6), Lake (1), Los Angeles (39), Orange (4), Placer (3), Riverside (5), Sacramento (45), San Bernardino (26), San Diego (1), San Joaquin (33), Stanislaus (5), Tulare (8), and Yolo (3). This is the first WNV positive mosquito sample from Alameda County this year. 1,101 mosquito samples from 24 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2008.
Sentinel chicken numbers hit by WNV, included the following from 2004-2007:
And, for 2008, the chickens reported carrying WNV included:
Counties Affected in CA: 12
There were 46 new WNV positive sentinel chickens reported in California last week from the following counties: Los Angeles (16), Orange (3), Riverside (14), Sacramento (4), San Bernardino (7), San Joaquin (1), and Sutter (1). These are the first WNV positive sentinel chickens from Orange, San Joaquin, and Sutter counties this year. 109 sentinel chickens from 12 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2008.
Finally, from 2004-2007, Squirrels found to be carrying WNV totalled:
And, for 2008, squirrels found with WNV numbered:
Counties Affected in CA: 3
There were 3 new WNV positive squirrels reported in California last week from the following counties: Contra Costa (2), and San Bernardino (1). 9 squirrels from 3 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2008.
However, Californians are not the only ones who should be aware of WNV. The disease has touched all parts of the nation.
As of August 19, 2008, 236 human cases had been reported nationwide this year in the following 28 states: Alabama (1), Arizona (5), Arkansas (5), California (73), Colorado (20), Connecticut (1), Idaho (8), Iowa (1), Louisiana (6), Michigan (1), Minnesota (10), Mississippi (33), Missouri (3), Nebraska (2), Nevada (2), New York (2), North Dakota (14), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (5), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (14), Tennessee (6), Texas (14), Utah (2), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (1) and Wyoming (1). Of the 236 individuals, 97 (41%) had neuroinvasive illness. Two fatalities have been reported in Arizona and Mississippi.
In August of 2007, 576 human cases had been reported nationwide. That means that the numbers of humans affected by WNV has dropped, which is good news, indeed.
though WNV is an important issue, it is rarely discussed by those whose mission it is to disparage beef with raving reports and fear-mongoring in regards to Mad Cow disease, etc. — which accounts for less than a handful of deaths worldwide over the last decade, and which is virtually non-existent in American-raised beef; all incidents have come with imported cows. Truly, American beef is a clean, safe, and very healthy meat choice.
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