Trending Clinical Topics for September 2018

Ryan Syrek

Disclosures

September 28, 2018

Each week, we identify one top search term, speculate as to what caused its popularity, and provide an infographic on a related condition. If you have thoughts about what's trending and why, feel free to share them with us on Twitter or Facebook!

Trending Clinical Topic of the Week (September 22-28): West Nile Virus

The seasonal surge of a condition associated with a summer pest is responsible for this week's top trending clinical topic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47 states and the District of Columbia have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes as of mid-September. North Dakota, Nebraska, and South Dakota have the most cases thus far. In Nebraska thus far this season, compared with last year, more cases (79 vs 68) and more deaths (4 vs 2) have been reported.

Climate change may be responsible for this increased incidence. Warmer, more humid temperatures and increased precipitation patterns in certain areas provide the elements necessary for mosquitoes to thrive. As a result, researchers are attempting to find new ways to eliminate or reduce the population of these dangerous insects. These range from trying to alter the genes of mosquitoes with CRISPR to attempting to infect them with a bacteria. Given that pesticide resistance among mosquitoes is on the rise, innovative approaches to prevent the diseases they spread are necessary. West Nile is a search term that will certainly carry plenty of "buzz," at least until colder weather ends their most active season.

For more information on the West Nile virus, read here.

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