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Another mosquito-borne danger.

Another mosquito-borne danger. As of July 20, 182 human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) had been reported to the CDC from 12 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. Arizona led states reporting human cases of WNV with 125 cases. Four fatalities had also been reported--two in Arizona, one in Iowa, and one in Texas. Of the total 182 reported WNV cases, 75 have been characterized as West Nile meningitis or encephalitis.

Like WNV, Rift Valley fever (RVF) is another mosquito-borne virus that can be transmitted to humans--but RVF could be deadlier to humans because it is carried by many more mosquito species. People can also be exposed to the virus by handling the blood or body fluids of infected animals. Although it has a higher mortality rate than WNV for humans (nearly 1%). RVF primarily attacks live-stock, killing up to one-third of the animals it infects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the RVF virus is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, where sporadic outbreaks have occurred in humans since the 1950s. An outbreak in southwestern Saudi Arabia and Yemen in 2000 represented the first occurrence of the virus outside Africa, illustrating its potential to spread to unaffected areas.
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Title Annotation:Global Disease Update
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2004
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Next Article:Population-based carrier screening and prenatal diagnosis.

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