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The West Nile Virus outbreak that has gripped the country, and Texas in particularly, will most likely be the worst on record, but there is hope that things are improving, My San Antonio.com reports.
Bexar County saw its 16th and 17th cases yesterday, but health officials said that the risk to people of contracting the virus was most likely going down. However, because of the delay in reporting and the fact that deaths can happen months after contracting the disease, it’s very likely that the numbers of cases and deaths being reported will continue to rise.
West Nile virus outbreaks in the U.S. usually reach their apex in mid to late August and the cases go down in the fall due to the temperature dropping and the day getting shorter. Mosquitoes tend to hibernate and stop biting people as the sun sets earlier. However, officials warned that people should still take precautions such as wearing long pants and long sleeves when outside at dusk and dawn, emptying standing water, and using insect repellent containing DEET.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control have had 2,636 cases reported and 118 deaths. Nearly half of all the cases have been in Texas. Texas’ official count as of Tuesday was 1,182 cases and 53 deaths, mostly in North Texas. The majority of deaths are from the neuroinvasive form of West Nile. Currently, it looks like 2012 will see more of those type of cases than any other year, so most likely it will also have the most deaths.