World Bulletin / News Desk
The mayor of Dallas declared a state of emergency in the ninth largest U.S. city on Wednesday to combat the spread of West Nile virus infections, which have been more prevalent than usual in Texas and other states this year.
There have been more cases of West Nile virus reported so far this year than any year since the disease was first detected in the United States in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control said on its website.
Nearly half of the 693 human cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus infections reported this year to the CDC have been in Texas, along with 14 of the 26 deaths confirmed by the federal agency as of Tuesday.
The Texas health department said the number of cases of West Nile in the state had reached 465 and there had been 17 deaths. There is a lag in the CDC confirming cases and deaths.
The emergency declaration by Mayor Mike Rawlings followed a similar action last week by Dallas County officials and paves the way for aerial pesticide spraying to begin this week.
Aerial spraying also is being used elsewhere, including in neighborhoods in New York City and Sacramento, California, to combat the spread of West Nile virus. Officials say such spraying is the most effective way to fight the mosquitoes that carry the disease despite safety concerns about exposing people to chemical pesticides.
"We are on track to have the worst year ever for West Nile virus in Texas," said Christine Mann, a spokeswoman for the Texas health department, adding that the number of cases was triple the previous high year of 2003.
It is not clear why the number of West Nile cases in Texas is so high. It could be related to a warmer winter and rainy spring that has contributed to an increased mosquito population, Mann said.
West Nile virus usually flares up in the summer because it is most often transmitted by mosquito bites. People infected can suffer fever and aches that can become severe or even cause death, especially of the elderly, children and other at risk groups. There is no specific treatment for the West Nile infection.
Dr Ender Karaca, a post-doctoral associate in the department of molecular and human genetics at Baylor, first encountered the disorder in 2006 and 2007 during his residency training as a clinical geneticist in Turkey.
A routine inspection at a slaughterhouse in Mato Grosso state found an animal that veterinarians suspect of having a neurological problems
Public concern has been heightened by the spread of rumours on social media that there were many undiagnosed cases, as well as accusations of government cover-ups and inadequate hygiene procedures
The long-awaited proposal would subject the $2 billion e-cigarette industry to federal regulation for the first time.
Scientists are especially interested in this iceberg not only because of its size but because it originated in an unexpected location
About 15 percent of world's children going without vaccinations, says WHO's Director of Immunization Dr. Okwo-Bele
The weeklong campaign will target seven of South Sudan's ten states.
The latest cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in the kingdom to 272, of whom 81 have died.
In a survey conducted last year, most water analyzed was deemed to be "very poor" or "relatively poor" in standard and cannot be used for drinking purposes.
Poaching rhinos for their horns is a growing problem in South Africa and a lucrative business for organised criminal networks but it is unusual for thieves to target stock piles.
The 17 new cases, announced late on Monday on the Health Ministry website, bring the total number of Saudi infections to 261, of whom 81 have died
The amendments, now in their fourth draft, are expected to enshrine environmental protection as the overriding priority of the Chinese government
In 2008, the Zambian government banned smoking in public places, relying on state police to enforce the prohibition.
Saudi Arabia has reported 244 cases of MERS since the disease was identified in 2012, of which 79 have been fatal.
China is aiming to make energy production and consumption more ecological to fight smog, siad the Chinese Premier.
MERS has no vaccine or anti-viral treatment, but international and Saudi health authorities say the disease, which originated in camels, does not transmit easily between people and may simply die out