“A tropical disease rages in a decidedly untropical place —Texas. Both science and politics play roles.“
Well gosh, Walsh does gorebull warbling, again. Aren’t we all surprised…
There are no good ways to die, but death by the West Nile virus is worse than most. The tropical disease begins in birds, which pass it on to mosquitoes that then go on to infect human beings with a bite. Most people who contract West Nile don’t experience any symptoms at all, but about 1 in 5 suffer fever, headaches and body aches, usually lasting a week or so. A far less lucky 1 in 150 experience high fever, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma. Some — especially the immunocompromised and the elderly — die.
That’s what makes the major outbreaks of West Nile virus in the U.S. this summer so scary. So far, nearly 700 cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including 26 deaths — the biggest nationwide outbreak since 2004. The situation is particularly bad in and around Dallas, where the virus has killed 10 people and sickened more than 200 so far this summer. The city has declared a state of emergency and, for the first time in 45 years, has begun aerial spraying of pesticide to kill the mosquitoes that are the virus’ delivery system — even in the face of residents’ heated concerns that the pesticide could be more dangerous than the disease. “I cannot have any more deaths on my conscience because we failed to take action,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told reporters recently.