Final 2004 West Nile Virus Deaths

It is hard to truly know how a disease changes year to year when it is first known. That is because you have to assume that many people got the disease and doctors simply couldn't identify it at the time. As numbers grow over the years, you have to wonder if it's because the disease is truly spreading - or if doctors are just getting better at identifying it.

That being said, 2002 had 4,156 reported cases of West Nile Virus in the US, with 284 deaths. In 2003, there were 8,912 reported cases, with only 211 deaths. Doctors were far more savvy by 2004 - so you think they would catch on to even more cases of the disease. However, consumers had also been educated, and took far more care to protect themselves from mosquitos, So even though the virus had spread to cover most of the US by 2004, there were only 2,539 reported cases of West Nile Virus - and only 100 deaths during the year. In table form, that looks like this:


Of course, nobody would want to die from a mosquito bite, so even one death is too many. It's critical that people keep taking precautions to keep mosquitos away from them, and report to a doctor quickly if they have symptoms. But it does appear that the epidemic of West Nile Virus is being kept under control by doctor vigilance and by consumer action.

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