Much more catchy and everyone will care more... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/h...g-up-as-worst-ever-in-us-authorities-say.html The nation is heading toward the worst outbreak of West Nile disease in the 13 years that the virus has been on this continent, federal health authorities said Wednesday. But it is still unclear where and how far cases will spread. Dallas declared an emergency last week, and West Nile deaths have been concentrated in Texas and a few nearby states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Dakota.The nation is heading toward the worst outbreak of West Nile disease in the 13 years that the virus has been on this continent, federal health authorities said Wednesday. So far this year, there have been 1,118 cases and 41 deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Lyle R. Petersen, who heads the agency’s division of vector-borne diseases, said in a telephone news conference Wednesday. “That’s the highest number of cases ever reported to the C.D.C. by the third week of August,” he added. “And cases are trending upward.” Because it takes some time for symptoms to develop and cases to be reported, those people were probably bitten by the mosquitoes that infected them two to three weeks ago, he said, but the agency expects cases to keep increasing through the end of September. It takes three days to two weeks after a bite for symptoms to come on, but they may then be rapid and overwhelming. Dr. Petersen described his own bout with West Nile disease in 2003. “I was out for a jog, and within one mile I went from feeling normal to where I could barely walk,” he said. Only about one case in 150 becomes serious enough for the patient to need hospitalization – usually when the virus gets into the brain and spinal cord. But 10 percent of those hospitalized die, and other patients are left paralyzed, comatose or with serious mental problems. The Dallas area has spent about $3 million – virtually all from the federal government – on aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes, the Texas health commissioner, Dr. David Lakey, said in the phone conference. He said that as of noon Wednesday, the state had 25 deaths attributed to the disease that he knew of. It is not known why this is turning into the worst year since the virus was discovered in New York City in 1999, Dr. Petersen said. Experts assume that the early warm spring and very hot summer have played a crucial role. The virus now exists everywhere in the contiguous 48 states, and all 48 – except Vermont – have found the virus in mosquitoes or birds this year. Birds act as a multiplier for the virus, which is then transmitted by mosquito species that bite both birds and humans. Though much of the country has suffered hot weather this year, not every region will have unusually serious outbreaks. The spread of cases will likely depend on other factors, as well, like how many mosquitoes and previously uninfected birds an area has. Generally, outbreaks begin in the South and move north as the summer heats up, but they do not worsen everywhere. “You can have a lot of cases in one area and not in a place just 100 miles away,” Dr. Petersen said.