for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 85 deaths from
West Nile virus, and now links disease to paralysis and blood
Nile virus claimed its 23rd victim in Illinois Thursday, health
officials said. The state's total of confirmed cases now stands
at 457, more than Louisiana and Michigan, which have 238 and 219
respectively. Thirty-two states now have cases tested positive
for the disease.
The CDC is
warning doctors to watch for other complications of West Nile.
Health officials warned Thursday the virus most likely can survive
in the blood for days and "probably be spread through transfusions"
after a woman in Mississippi contracted West Nile through transfusions
with blood from three infected donors. All blood donations now
will be screened for the virus as soon as a test can be developed,
the CDC is urging doctors to test patients for West Nile if they
report sudden, painless paralysis but do not appear to have had
a stroke. Most of the reported paralysis cases are in Mississippi
and Louisiana and have occurred in middle-aged people who were
states have confirmed cases of West Nile and total deaths among
those states have risen to 85, according to the CDC. The CDC updates
its web site every Friday and Monday at www.cdc.gov.
people who live in highly infected areas or hold outdoor jobs
to avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most
active. If people do go outside, they should wear long loose-sleeved
shirts and long pants. Spray with mosquito repellent containing
the chemical DEET, but do not use the spray on animals.