The West Nile virus outbreak that has infected people in 38 states is on track to be the worst in history, a top official at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told a news teleconference today.
The number of cases so far this year is the highest recorded through August since the disease was first detected in the United States in 1999.
The cases reported to the CDC as of Wednesday total 1,118, including 42 deaths.
As of Tuesday, 47 states had reported indications of the virus in humans or animals; only Alaska, Hawaii and Vermont have so far been spared. Human cases have been detected in 38 states.
Here are CDC’s top tips for avoiding West Nile virus.
- Use insect repellents that contain an EPA-registered active ingredient whenever you’re outdoors.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outdoors at dawn and dusk, or consider staying indoors during those times, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Remove the standing water that allows mosquitoes to breed. That includes small pools of water in unlikely places such as flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.
- Drill holes in tire swings so that water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they’re not being used.
The If spraying is postponed, it will be rescheduled for Monday, Aug. 27.