West Nile Virus in the USA - Dallas Reports 3rd Human Case

HydroVax-001 is a West Nile virus inactivated vaccine candidate

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Dallas County in Texas is the latest community in the USA to report West Nile virus cases during 2018.

On August 7, 2018, the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) report in a press release the 3rd human case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Dallas County for 2018.

The announcement comes shortly after DCHHS confirmed the first WNV death of the year.

Ganesh Shivaramaiyer, DCHHS interim director, said: “Dallas not only conducts active surveillance to detect WNV and monitor infection rates locally but also educates the community to take preventative action.”

Unfortunately, there are no preventive vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV infections.

Which means, the best way to avoid exposure to West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites.

People should use the 4Ds to reduce their risk:

  • DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions.
  • Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.
  • Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace.
  • Dusk & Dawn: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Dallas is not alone in reporting West Nile virus cases.

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Since the summer of 1999, West Nile virus has quietly spread to most states in the USA. More than 46,068 West Nile virus (WNV) cases and 2,018 deaths have been reported through 2016.

As of July 24, 2018, a total of 36 states have reported 106 West Nile virus cases in people to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Of these, 62 (58%) were classified as neuroinvasive diseases, such as meningitis or encephalitis.

Neuroinvasive disease cases have been reported to ArboNET from the following states for 2018:  California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas.

According to Clinical Trials.org, there have been 8 studies, including clinical trial NCT02337868 for inactivated vaccine candidate HydroVax-001.

Additional WNV vaccine candidate information can be found on this NIH page.