West Nile Virus | St. Louis Public Radio

West Nile Virus

This year’s catastrophic flooding has created hard times for many people in Midwest, but it’s created a nirvana for mosquitoes.

Kansas City and the surrounding region could potentially become a hotbed for mosquito-borne viruses like West Nile virus in the coming years due to increasing temperatures and more frequent flooding, which are predicted by climate experts.

The major flooding from spring may leave behind pools of water with ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.
Flickr | wild_turkey5300

The major flooding this spring may bring more mosquitoes in the summer months.

Swollen rivers will leave behind small ponds or pools as they recede back to normal levels. Those bodies of standing water offer ideal breeding grounds for Culex mosquitoes, the ones that predominantly carry the West Nile virus.

Mosquitoes with the West Nile virus have been found in St. Louis County for the first time this sumemer
(via Flickr/John Tann)

Health officials have detected the West Nile virus in mosquitoes found in St. Louis County.

The West Nile virus can potentially be deadly, but cases in humans are relatively rare. No Missouri residents have contracted the disease so far, this year, according to federal health data.

The major flooding from spring may leave behind pools of water with ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.
Flickr | wild_turkey5300

Facts and fiction continue to swirl about mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika and West Nile viruses. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed what you need to know about such illnesses and how to prevent them.

Saint Louis University is currently at the forefront of trying to develop a Zika vaccine. Sarah George, a researcher with the Saint Louis University Center for Vaccine Development, joined the program on Tuesday to discuss her research and prevention tips.

(via Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Illinois' first case this year of West Nile virus in a bird has been confirmed. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) the infected starling was collected by the Monroe County Health Department on June 27 in Waterloo, Ill.

This pattern of detection is part of an annual trend seen by health officials in which the West Nile virus is first detected in mosquitoes, followed by birds, and then, people. No cases have been reported so far this year in humans. However, according to health officials, it is only a matter of time before a person is infected.

St. Louis County reports first probable human West Nile case of the year

Sep 4, 2012
Mosquitoes with the West Nile virus have been found in St. Louis County for the first time this sumemer
(via Flickr/John Tann)

St. Louis County has reported its first probable human case of West Nile Virus.

The victim was a 55-year-old woman from Kirkwood. She’s believed to have contracted the mosquito-transmitted disease early this summer and has since completely recovered.

The Director of Communicable Disease Control at the St. Louis County Department of Health, Dr. Faisal Khan, says most people who are infected with the virus don’t develop any symptoms.

Mild cases experience something like the flu, but about 1 in 150 people will get severely ill.

With West Nile On The Rise, We Answer Your Questions

Aug 29, 2012

This year is on track to be the worst ever for West Nile virus in the United States. Here are the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • 1,590 reported cases, nearly 500 more than a week ago for a rise of 44 percent.
  • 889 cases, or 56 percent, involve severe neurological disease.
  • 66 deaths, compared to 41 last week.

Mosquitoes with the West Nile virus have been found in St. Louis County for the first time this sumemer
(via Flickr/John Tann)

A big jump in human cases of West Nile Virus in Illinois, Texas and Arkansas is prompting St. Louis County to boost its spraying to combat mosquitoes.

"An extra team of vector control employees will spray strategic areas in the early morning hours this week to reduce the number of breeding adult mosquitoes and knock down any that may be carrying West Nile Virus," Vector Control Operations Manager Drew Hane said. That team is a supplement to evening and overnight spraying efforts.

The county health department is urging residents to take the following steps:

Morning headlines - Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 23, 2012
(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Mo. mountain lions are visitors, not natives

The number of mountain lion sightings in the state of Missouri is on the rise, and DNA tests show some of them are visiting from other states.

The Missouri Conservation Department confirmed 14 mountain lion sightings last year – that’s up from a total of 12 in the previous 16 years.

The major flooding from spring may leave behind pools of water with ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.
Flickr | wild_turkey5300

Despite cooler weather over the past several days, it's still mosquito season, and that means there's the potential for West Nile Virus cases.

The St. Louis County Department of Health has reported its first suspected human case. A 12-year-old boy from Wellston was briefly hospitalized with West Nile symptoms, though the department says he has returned to normal activities.

The county says there was one human case last year.

(via Flickr/James Jordan)

Two men in Illinois are the first human cases of West Nile virus in the state.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says a Cook County man in his 80s got sick earlier this month. A 30-year-old from south-central Illinois became ill in July. In 2010, the first human case was reported on Aug. 31 - 61 people eventually tested positive.

Mosquitoes in St. Louis Co. test positive for West Nile Virus

Jun 23, 2011
Mosquitoes with the West Nile virus have been found in St. Louis County for the first time this sumemer
(via Flickr/John Tann)

The Saint Louis County Health Department has found the first mosquitoes of the season carrying West Nile Virus.

Mosquitoes testing positive for the virus have been found in St. Louis Co. communities including Clayton, Florissant, Hanley Hills, Lemay, Manchester, Mehlville, Richmond Heights.

No human cases have been reported.