Health officials brace for spike in West Nile cases - Bring Me The News

Health officials brace for spike in West Nile cases

Mosquito-friendly Minnesota is ranked No. 9 among states for West Nile cases this year (20 cases and one death). Health officials nationwide expect there could be a sharp rise in West Nile virus cases as the disease peaks over the next six weeks. They worry that this year's high case count could be just a taste of the future, as changing weather patterns allow the mosquitoes that carry the deadly disease to flourish.
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Minnesota is No. 9 among states for cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, according to a USA Today tally.

The state has had 20 reported cases, according to Centers for Disease Control data. Among those, one death was confirmed just this week, MPR reported.

USA Today reports that health officials across the nation are worried that the number of cases might spike in the next six weeks. They also fret that changing global weather patterns that allow mosquitoes to thrive could increase West Nile cases in years to come.

The number of West Nile virus infections in the United States has jumped more than 60 percent in the past week in what federal officials say is one of the country's biggest-ever outbreaks of the disease, Reuters reports.

The 1,118 total cases nationwide reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the third week in August since West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999, the CDC reports.

Most people infected with West Nile will have only mild symptoms, health officials say. A small percentage develop brain inflammation that can be fatal. Learn more from the state Department of Health.

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