27 people have died so far after an outbreak of the West Nile Virus. The majority of cases have been confirmed to be in Dallas, Texas, which has prompted the mayor of Dallas to declare a public emergency. Nearly 700 cases have been confirmed this year and now, there is fear that the virus is spreading after a man from Illinois became the latest victim to tragically pass away. The mayor of Dallas has passed the order to spray insecticide in order to combat the deadly virus that has now been declared an epidemic, The Daily Mail reports.
Mosquitoes have been the prime cause of the deadly West Nile virus spreading this year. A report, which states that the West Nile Virus is more prominently spread due to hot and dry weather conditions which attract the congregation of the mosquitoes to publicly inhabited areas, the mosquitoes of course being the cause of the virus spreading, also states that due to the epidemic, the mosquitoes are to be sprayed with insecticide for the first time in almost half a century amid fears that the virus is spreading from Texas.
The West Nile virus is actually quite a modern strain. It first appeared in the United States in the late 1990’s but since then, many deaths have been recorded with numerous epidemics over the years, but none as serious as the one in the United States today. West Nile Virus, also known as “WNV” can sometimes be symptomless to begin with but over time, mild symptoms such as aching body, headaches, rashes or fever can signal that the virus has entered the body. WNV can become very deadly if it goes unnoticed and enters the brain which can then cause death. It is important to take steps to prevent mosquito bites as it is these insects that spread WNV to begin with.
Planes carrying insecticide were flying around Dallas this past Friday (17th August, 2012) with more planes expected in the coming days in order to cover the entire area. The move has been met with controversy due to the potential health risks associated with the pesticide. However, the mayor insists that the move is in the best interests of the people and is necessary in order to combat the mosquitoes and lower the risk of the current deadly strain of West Nile virus from spreading even further. With almost 30 people confirmed dead and almost a thousand confirmed cases of West Nile Virus, it seems that combating the epidemic head on may be the best cause of action despite controversies associated with pesticide use in order to prolong human life and prevent the strain from getting even further out of hand.