West Nile Virus reports from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, and Wisconsin; and an Eastern Equine Encephalitis report from New York.


2009 West Nile Virus Activity

Arizona 09/26/10 azcentral.com: by Srianthi Perera – With 100 cases, including seven deaths, Arizona is experiencing the nation’s worst outbreak of West Nile virus this year.  Because most of the cases have occurred in the southeast Valley, the state Department of Health Services has enlisted the help of the federal Centers for Disease Control to determine what species of birds are carrying the virus.  “The mosquitoes are transmitters, but they pick up the virus by feeding on infected birds,” said Craig Levy, manager of Health Services’ vector-borne disease program.  For nearly a week, three biologists from the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases in Fort Collins, Colo., were in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa and nearby unincorporated areas taking blood samples from birds that they will now study. Their sampling ended Tuesday.  In that week, biologists Nicholas Komar, Nicholas Panella and Aaron Erault captured 283 birds representing species commonly found in neighborhoods and on dairy farms. They included blackbirds, grackles, doves, sparrows and cowbirds, whose blood samples were taken. They also collected blood-engorged mosquitoes to identify what species of birds or vertebrate hosts they mostly fed on.  “It’s all part of learning the ecology of West Nile virus,” Komar said. “The more we learn, the more we can develop guidelines to counteract the risks.” The samples will be evaluated in the CDC’s Fort Collins lab, and the results, expected in a few weeks, may lead to improvements of control strategies for the disease, he said.  Maricopa County Environmental Services Department spokesman Johnny Dilone said 74 of the state’s 88 West Nile cases so far this year came from Maricopa County, while Pinal County logged 13 and Graham County reported one.  Of 266 mosquito samples testing positive, 165 were from Maricopa County and 84 from Pinal County.  Dilone said it was difficult to determine what factors contributed to the high number of West Nile cases this year in Arizona.  In 2004, when West Nile was first found in Arizona, the state led the nation with nearly 400 cases and 16 deaths. Last year, there were 19 cases and none resulted in death; that same year, 51 mosquito samples tested positive.

California 09/28/10 contracostatimes.com: by Hannah Dreier – More mosquitoes and a bird have tested positive for West Nile virus in East Contra Costa County, the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District reported Tuesday.  Mosquitoes trapped near Lone Tree Way and Deer Valley Road in Antioch tested positive for the virus, as did a dead bird found near Fetzer Lane and Jordan Lane in Oakley.   The district said technicians are conducting further inspections and treatments in the area to suppress mosquito populations.  “These species of mosquitoes emerge from water in catch basins (street drains) and other man-made sources,” operations manager Carlos Sanabria said in a news release. “We urge residents to reduce lawn over watering, car washing and other activities that supply catch basins with water and provide these mosquitoes a place to thrive.”

Connecticut 09/27/10 nbcconnecticut.com: by Bob Connors – A Hartford resident was in the hospital after contracting West Nile VirusThe patient, who is in their 50s, became infected during the second week of September, according to the state Department of Public Health.  Doctors are treating the patient for meningitis, after he or she came down with a fever and severe headache.  “West Nile Virus can cause serious illness, especially in people over 50,” Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Robert Galvin said.  The mosquito-transmitted disease has turned up in 23 cities and towns across Connecticut, including Hartford.  This is the seventh human case of West Nile Virus reported in Connecticut. Two other Connecticut residents contracted the disease while traveling out of state, according to the Health Department.

Illinois 09/28/10 kcchronicle.com: A 78-year-old Aurora man has become the second person to be diagnosed with West Nile virus this year in Kane County. Earlier this month, a 46-year-old man from Burlington was diagnosed with the illness.  In addition, the Kane County Health Department confirmed five more batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile in Aurora, Carpentersville, Fermilab, Big Rock and Elgin.  “We have monitored West Nile activity all across Kane County this year. With the kind of conditions we’ve seen this summer, this is the time of year when we can expect to see people with West Nile virus,” Health Department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert said.

New Mexico 09/28/10 kob.com: New Mexico has 13 confirmed West Nile virus cases and is investigating several more potential human cases.  The state Department of Health had previously reported a total of five cases – three in Dona Ana County and two in San Juan County. Health officials now say the latest total shows five cases in Dona Ana County, four in San Juan County and one each in Chaves, Curry, McKinley and Eddy counties.  They say 10 of the 13 patients have the more serious West Nile neurological disease, including meningitis and encephalitis. The patients were hospitalized but are recovering.  Authorities say New Mexico typically sees most of its West Nile cases in August and September. There were eight human cases of the virus in both 2008 and 2009.

New York 09/24/10 cnycentral.com: Two more horses have tested positive for EEE in Onondaga County, according to county officials.  Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Cynthia Morrow announced Friday afternoon that two horses have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).  The Health Department says it received confirmation of these results from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Wadsworth Laboratory Friday morning.  The county says that the horses, stabled on Lamson Road in the Town of Lysander, died on September 17 after a serious illness. Morrow said in a statement that “EEE was not identified in any of the mosquito pools collected last week,” and also saidthis brings the total number of horses identified with EEE to three this year in the county.

Wisconsin 09/26/10 wisinfo.com: State and local health officials are reminding residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites as they report the state’s first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in 2010.  The case was diagnosed in a Washington County resident during routine screening of blood donations. Because screening of blood donated by this patient yielded a positive result for the genetic material of West Nile virus, the Blood Center of Wisconsin destroyed all of the blood and blood products from this donation to prevent the donated blood from entering the blood supply. The patient later reported ill with mild West Nile-like virus symptoms. In 2009, one Wisconsin resident developed a West Nile virus infection. So far this year, West Nile virus has been found in one Washington County resident, three pools of mosquitoes collected in August in Milwaukee County, and three dead birds collected from August to September in Waukesha and Winnebago counties.  Both the Washington County Health Department and the Department of Health Services will continue surveillance for West Nile virus until the end of the mosquito season, usually in October.







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