Multiple Deaths From West Nile Virus Confirmed In United States

west nile virus deaths in the US increase
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A Lodi, New Jersey, man died from West Nile virus on Saturday, reports Fox News. A spokesperson for the New Jersey Board of Health confirmed the death on Friday, making this the first confirmed death from West Nile virus in that state this year.

Fred Maikisch, 62, was the patient who passed away, and he was diagnosed with the virus just a few weeks ago. An MRI showed there was no hope of recovery for Fred the day before he died, his sister posted on Facebook. West Nile virus is carried by mosquitoes. Symptoms include a rash, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Not everyone who contracts the virus shows these symptoms, and most people who do contract it recover.

“About 1 in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord),” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of cases has increased significantly from last year, when there were eight. The health department said the hot and wet weather patterns over the summer may have contributed to the increase.

There were two deaths from the virus in Pennsylvania, reports Lancaster Online. Harlan H. Hoover, 81, was one of those who lost their battle with the virus. He passed away on September 17 as a result. Pennsylvania has had 33 human cases of the virus so far this year. That’s significant considering there have only been 65 human cases in the area since 2002.

CBS said there was a mosquito alert based on recent deaths and diagnoses. It seems to be an epidemic this summer, perhaps because of weather patterns breaking tradition in many states.

News Channel 5 reports that there has been a fourth West Nile-related death in Tennessee. The exact location of the case was not known, but the Tennessee Department of Health did confirm the death from West Nile Virus on Friday. To protect yourself, health officials suggested limiting time outdoors at night when mosquitoes are present.

If you need to be outside, it’s recommended you wear mosquito repellent. Brands like DEET, Picaridin, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus are approved as effective by the Center for Disease Control. Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and sleeves if you need to be outside as well. Lastly, make sure your door and window screens are shut and in good repair.