TSR Health: “We outside!” might turn into “we inside” real quick after mosquitoes carrying a virus that causes paralysis and death have been spotted in at least six U.S. states.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus, which is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the U.S. The illness typically peaks around this time of year, Insider reports.
New York was the latest state to report infected mosquitoes in recent weeks. Rockland County reported two groups of mosquitoes carrying the virus in Orangetown and Clarkstown in a press release.
The other states where the mosquitoes have been spotted are Massachusetts, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, and Iowa.
While Massachusetts also has no known human cases, the other states have seen one or two people fall severely ill with the virus this summer, according to the CDC.
Despite what people probably think, mosquitoes kill more people than any other creature in the world, according to Insider.
The insects are transporters of several dangerous diseases including malaria, dengue, Zika, and more.
Most people infected with the West Nile virus don’t even know they’re sick, and the virus rarely spreads from human to human. Insider says about one in five people infected with West Nile will come down with a fever and flu-like symptoms such as headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.
An even smaller percentage go on to develop severe illness that can lead to paralysis or death.
Two people in Arizona and three people across Arkansas, Illinois, and Iowa have experienced such severe cases. In Arkansas, the infected person passed away.
Last year, 39 U.S. states reported cases of West Nile virus. Of the cases reported, 505 were severe or neuroinvasive, and 52 people passed.
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