State health officials report that the human cases of the West Nile virus (WNV) during this season is now 22. One of these humans died of the virus. Last year, the state experienced only 12 cases. But in 2009, it had 38, thus making it the worst year on record. This season has also seen 35 cases in horses, with 15 of them killed by the virus or the kindness of humans (euthanized).
Exposure to the virus, which is transmitted by one of the worst insects ever to emerge from the blind processes of evolution, mosquitoes, does not always result in symptoms. But for those who do suffer from WNV-related symptoms, which include fever, the news is never good. There is not much more that doctors can do than to wait and watch. The cure for this disease, which was first identified in Africa, has yet be found.
The only way to avoid infection is to not get bitten by the virus's prime vector—that bloodsucking, whiny, satanically persistent insect. I do not believe in God, but the mosquito makes a very strong case for the existence of a devil. To keep their numbers low, the CDC recommends that you drain "flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis." Stagnant water is this demi-demon's paradise.