West Nile virus infections up; CDC urges precautions

Atlanta – This summer’s outbreak of West Nile virus in the United States has resulted in the highest number of cases in nearly a decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Outbreaks of the virus, which is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes, occur every summer. Through the end of July, 241 cases of the virus – including four deaths – had been reported to CDC, an Aug. 1 statement from the agency said. This marks the highest number of reported cases in this time frame since 2004.

The best way to prevent West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites, and CDC urges people to take the following steps:

  • Use insect repellent whenever outdoors.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants at dawn and dusk.
  • In the home, ensure installed or repaired screens are on windows and doors, or use air conditioning.
  • Remove standing water from outside your home, such as in flowerpots or buckets.

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