Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 3:11 pm
Fifteen years ago an unwelcome viral visitor entered the U.S., and we've been paying for it ever since.
The U.S recorded its first case of West Nile virus back in 1999. Since then, the disease has spread across the lower 48 states and cost the country around $800 million, scientists reported this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Across Colorado thousands of federally funded lab workers remain furloughed due to the government shutdown. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in Fort Collins, just 10 percent of staff remain on duty.
Since West Nile Virus was first identified more than a decade ago, applying bug spray became a must for summer outings. But sprays containing DEET can be a turn off. They can be smelly and feel greasy.