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ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

Summer Breeze, Summer Disease

Published June 25, 2012 5:47 PM by Kelly Bocich

I am a summer person. I complain about snow and relish in the heat. I hike and camp and walk and garden and hang out on my patio as often as I can. I live in Pennsylvania... and I am covered in bug bites.

It was an outside kind of weekend. Of course, while I'm dealing with the aftermath of hungry mosquitoes making a meal of me, headlines and news releases about West Nile Virus somehow dominate my email inbox. According to the CDC, West Nile encephalitis cases occur primarily in the late summer or early fall, but Louisiana just reported the state's first human case of 2012, the virus was detected in two birds in Tahoe, CA, and West Nile virus activity is reportedly increasing in the Sacramento area. The CDC only lists two human cases so far this year (one in TX; one in CA), but as mosquito activity increases in these warmer months, transmission is likely to increase as well.

We're used to seeing increased testing for influenza and respiratory viruses in the winter, but summer has its own illnesses of a different variety. Do you notice upticks in test requests for "summer diseases"? Which ones, and what steps do you take to manage the changes?

posted by Kelly Bocich

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