West Nile Cases in 2006 Highest Since 2003

2006 wasn't a good year for West Nile Virus, if you're among the public health officials who are trying to limit such cases. CDC's latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report also contains a report on WNV cases during 2006.

The report says 1,491 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease were reported in 2006, which was the highest number reported since 2003. West Nile activity was detected in all 48 lower states for the second consecutive year. "This suggests that endemic transmission of West Nile virus in the United States will continue for the foreseeable future," the agency said.

CDC's summary also said that during 2006, WNV transmission to humans or animals "expanded into 52 counties that had not previously reported transmission and recurred in 1,350 counties where transmission had been reported in previous years. Additionally, 1,491 cases of WNV neuroinvasive disease (WNND) were reported in the United States in 2006, amounting to a 14% increase from 2005 and the largest number reported since 2003. These findings highlight the need for ongoing surveillance, mosquito control, promotion of personal protection from mosquito bites, and research into additional prevention strategies."

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