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West Nile Virus Kills Four More Arizonans, Case Count Rises To 256

 Public health officials in Arizona reported on Friday that four more Arizonans died due to West Nile Virus complications. According to  Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) update on West Nile Virus cases on Friday, data shows there has a rise of new deaths, reaching a total of 14 for the summer and fall mosquito season.

The ADHS also announced the state’s increasing probable and confirmed West Nile Virus case count to 256. The number of most cases originated in the state’s most populous county as ADHS data shows 207 of the 256 confirmed and probable cases came from Maricopa County. The remaining 34 confirmed or probable cases is recorded from the adjacent Pinal County.

The names of those who died was not immediately disclosed by the ADHS after a request for identification. 2004 was the only year when there was more recorded instances of West Nile Virus when the state had 391 cases. The record-breaking summer monsoon season has led to a significant increase in the population of mosquitoes, the prime transmitter of West Nile virus in the Valley.

West Nile Virus’ Structure Under High Powered Microscope (Photo: Wikipedia)

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Majority Of The Cases Were Asymptomatic

Majority of the individuals who contracted the West Nile Virus are asymptomatic. Recorded deaths from the virus generally pass away due to encephalitis, other patients succumb to meningoencephalitis. This is listed by the ADHS as clinical representation in 117 of the 256 cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HonorHealth Had West Nile Virus Hospitalizations

HonorHealth, a nonprofit health system, affirmed to have seen hospitalizations for West Nile Virus but denied to release their number. The hospital system told The Center Square on Tuesday in a statement that their facilities is seeing confined West Nile patients. They proceeded to recommend the use of EPA-registered mosquito repellent on hot weather, but if the temperature is cool, community members can wear clothing that covers legs and arms  to protect themselves.

The health system also pointed the importance of destroying probable sites for mosquito’s reproduction such as stagnant water near at home as mosquitos lay eggs in the water.

The chief clinical officer at Banner Health, Dr. Marjorie Bessel, expressed her willingness to help. She said at the present, they are not having the same difficulties experienced by some of the other health care systems as they are aware of the increased cases of West Nile Virus in their facilities. She informs about the availability of their facilities and they are capable of supporting other health care systems that appear to be having a fairly significant increase of the disease.

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