Living in the UK I am often sucked into writing my blogs based only on news stories occurring here. This time I have decided to change that formula and focus on a story that has hit the headlines the other side of the pond in the United States. The headlines are surrounding the increasing spread of West Nile virus. As of 14th August there had been 696 cases and 26 deaths. Come the start of September these numbers had increased to 1993 cases and 87 deaths, then as of the 9th September (only a week later) the numbers had reached 2636 cases and 118 deaths. This outbreak is the largest in the US since 2003 in terms of the number infected, and also has the highest proportion of the most serious form of infection since the virus was first discovered in the US in 1999. West Nile virus is not necessarily something many people know about beyond the headlines, so as usual, this has spurred me into writing a blog giving some detail on the virus itself.
|West Nile virus particles|