CDC Advises Surveillance for West Nile

ATLANTA, July 1 (UPI) — West Nile virus continues to produce serious and sometimes fatal illness, especially for those age 70 and older, U.S. health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said despite declining disease incidence, more than 11,000 West Nile virus neuroinvasive and non-neuroinvasive disease cases are estimated to have occurred in 2009.

Overall, the incidence of West Nile Virus neuroinvasive disease was 0.13 per 100,000 — the lowest recorded since 2001, the report said.

“States with the highest incidence included Mississippi at 1.05 per 100,000, South Dakota at 0.74 per 100,000, Wyoming at 0.73 per 100,000, Colorado at 0.72 per 100,000 and Nebraska at 0.61 per 100,000,” the report said.

“As seen in previous years, neuroinvasive disease incidence increased with increasing age, with the highest incidence among persons age 70 and older.”

The need persists for ongoing surveillance, mosquito control and promotion of personal protection from mosquito bites, especially in high-risk groups such as the elderly, health officials said.

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