There seems to be yet another threat facing the United States as 2020 continues to pile on new enemies. The biggest one, of course, belongs to the coronavirus and the pandemic that has ensued. Then there were the murder hornets that began to pop up. Now another issue has entered the picture as the first signs of West Nile Virus have been found in the country.
The first attack of mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus was discovered in Nashville in three separate locations. The suspect mosquito was also reported in Michigan, where 12 were infected last year, over the weekend, as well as in Texas. San Diego County also reported a mosquito recently tested positive. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, a chief medical executive and chief deputy director for healthy, told Click On Detroit that "it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness."
The Metro Public Health Department notes that prevention can be taken by limiting time outdoors, especially at night. To combat the bugs while outside, wearing repellent that is approved by the CDC is essential, along with wearing clothes that cover skin. In 2019, less than 1,000 reported cases of West Nile Virus cases occurred. The three states hit the hardest were California, Arizona and Colorado. There were also only 54 deaths, according to the CDC, with 18 of those coming in Arizona.
The CDC says that eight out of 10 people do not show symptoms when infected, but 1 in 5 with symptoms have a fever. Other symptoms include headaches, neck stiffness and disorientation, among others. There is also currently no vaccine or specific treatment for the infection. With so much going on in the world, social media was quick to react to the news of another incoming danger. One user, in particular, tweeted out that, "This game of Jumanji gotta end already. 2020 is NUTS."
Nashville has mosquitos testing positive for West Nile virus and it’s also the year for cicadas to re-emerge. 2020 really brought the thunder this year sweet Jesus.— Dani Hazlehurst (@dani_hazlehurst) June 5, 2020
While the threat of West Nile Virus certainly is an issue, it palls in comparison to the damage being done by the coronavirus. On Monday, the number of positive tests for COVID-19 moved nearer to 2 million, with more than 113,000 deaths. In New York alone, 24,000 deaths have occurred, with 379,000 confirmed cases.