Tags: meningitis | west | nile | 2012

Meningitis, West Nile Occupy Health Officials in 2012

Wednesday, 26 Dec 2012 06:54 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The year started in the United States with a mild flu season but ended up being marked by deadly outbreaks of fungal meningitis, West Nile virus and Hantavirus.

Tainted steroid medication has been cited as the cause of the meningitis outbreak that killed 243 people.

Weather contributed to the worst outbreak of West Nile virus since 2003 and an unusual outbreak of Hantavirus in California's Yosemite National Park.

Transmitted by infected mice, Hantavirus is a severe, sometimes fatal syndrome that affects the lungs. West Nile can cause encephalitis or meningitis, infection of the brain and spinal cord or their protective covering.

As of December 11, 5,387 cases of West Nile virus had been reported in 48 states, the CDC said in its final 2012 update on the outbreak. The 2003 outbreak left 264 dead from among nearly 10,000 reported cases.

A large number of cases this year occurred in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi where there are large mosquito populations.

CDC and state officials have said that rainfall in the spring and record high summer temperatures contributed to the severity of the outbreak by affecting mosquito populations, which transmit the disease by biting humans and animals.

Health officials said that only a small percentage of cases of West Nile virus are reported because most people have no symptoms and about 20 percent have mild symptoms such as aches and fever. One in 150 people with West Nile virus develop other illnesses such as meningitis and encephalitis.

The biggest outbreak in nearly two decades of Hantavirus, which emerges in dry and dusty environments, cropped up during the summer in 1,200-square-mile (3,100-square-km) Yosemite National Park, killing three of 10 infected visitors.

The National Park issued warnings to 22,000 people who may have been exposed to the rare disease, and 91 Curry Village cabins in the park were closed in late August.

In early September, a 78-year-old judge named Eddie Lovelace was rushed to a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Thought to have had a stroke, he died a few days later.

After a large outbreak of fungal meningitis was linked to tainted steroid injections, Lovelace's cause of death was revised. He became the first documented death in a meningitis outbreak that has infected 620 people and killed 39 in 19 states.

The New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts, was closed after investigators found that it had shipped thousands of fungus-tainted vials of methylprednisolone acetate to medical facilities around the United States. The steroid was typically used to ease back pain.

More than 14,000 people were warned that they may have had an injection of the tainted steroid. Doctors continue to see new cases of spinal infections related to the steroid, and cases of achnoiditis, an inflammation of nerve roots in the spine.

The outbreak led two Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. House of representatives to introduce legislation to increase government oversight of compounded drugs.

And what lies ahead in 2013?

"While there are some trends we can predict, the most reliable trend is that the next threat will be unpredictable," said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Thomas Frieden.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Recharge Your Phone in 30 Seconds? Israeli Firm Says It Can

Monday, 24 Nov 2014 08:51 AM

An Israeli company says it has developed technology that can charge a mobile phone in a few seconds and an electric car  . . .

Crew Blasts off for International Space Station

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 17:23 PM

A Russian capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States, and Italy has blasted off for the Internatio . . .

Bodies of 500 Sea Lions Found on Peruvian Beach

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 15:50 PM

Peruvian authorities were investigating Sunday the deaths of some 500 sea lions whose rotting corpses were found on a no . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved