West Nile virus cases jumped 25% in 2018, CDC says

Mackenzie Bean - Print  | 

Viruses transmitted by ticks and mosquitos are increasing in the U.S., with West Nile virus seeing the largest jump, according to the CDC's most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In 2018, the CDC reported 2,647 West Nile cases in 48 states. Of these cases, 1,658 were classified as a microinvasive disease such as meningitis, encephalitis or acute flaccid paralysis.

This figure translates into a disease incidence of 0.51 cases of neuroinvasive West Nile virus per 100,000 population, which marks a nearly 25 percent increase from the median disease incidence reported between 2008 and 2017.

"Healthcare providers should consider arboviral infections in patients with aseptic meningitis or encephalitis, perform appropriate diagnostic testing and report cases to public health authorities," the CDC said. "Surveillance helps to identify outbreaks and guide prevention strategies."

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