Friday, August 11, 2006

West Nile: "Home, Home on Our Range"

Bad news on the doorstep:

From KBTX:

The explosion of human cases of West Nile continues in Brazos County. Friday, health department officials said they are now aware of seven possible cases of the disease.

Officials announced there are five people who are "presumptive positive" for West Nile in Brazos County. That's in addition to the two cases that the state have confirmed, which we first reported to you Thursday.

One of the most severly effected people, and the only one who has released his info, is a Bryan Police sergent. However, there's a lot of hope and prayers for this man.

There was a huge amount of rainfall in July last month, filling up streams and waterholes that are typically dry all August long. Also, a different breed of day-flying misquito just tested positive as a carrier in this county. I'm sure these factors have contributed this out break at least some.
"They had a big jump on us this year," said Texas A&M expert Jim Olsen of the mosquitoes in the area, "so we anticipated that if West Nile was going to pop, it was going to pop big, and it did."

At the press conference, the local West Nile experts laid out the oft-repeated but often necessary statements: West Nile is here, there and everywhere in the county.

"This is a preventable illness," Charles Williams with the county health department said. "The way you prevent the illness is not to be bit my mosquitoes."
You know, I wish they could just be that straight forward about STD's. "This is a preventable STD. The way you prevent the illness is not sleeping around."

In addition to the human cases, the first local horse has tested positive for West Nile. No word on where in Brazos County the animal is stabled. The health department is encouraging all horse owners to see their veterinarian to get vaccinations for the disease.
I did a quick google about vaccines for horses and found they've been around for approximately three years. The website for the CDC info on this hasn't been updated since 2003 so I presume that date is related. However, maybe there's hope that an effective human vaccine can be developed quickly since effective one for other animals is now available.

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