The United States is seeing a jump in cases of West Nile virus this season, as an unseasonably warm winter let mosquitoes breed unabated. But what area is getting hit the hardest? The Huffington Post checks in on the data today:
Earlier this week, health officials reported that there are now 1,590 cases of West Nile virus confirmed in humans across the United States, and 66 deaths -- the most (through late August) since the mosquito-borne disease was first identified in 1999, Reuters reported.
...So far, Texas is taking the brunt of it -- and it may only get worse. "It looks like it is going to be our worst year ever," Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services told Reuters. "As I look at the data, I'm not convinced we have peaked."
...Still, with 43 states touched by the disease, it's hard to feel completely safe. The best line of defense is to avoid getting mosquito bites which, as we all know, can be easier said than done. Insect repellant can help, as can a number of other, more natural techniques, like wearing long sleeves and pants, staying inside during peak mosquito hours and burning citronella or other candles outside.