90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
West Nile Virus Outbreak

West Nile Virus numbers are spiking nationwide. Is global warming driving the outbreak? And is the U.S in line for more tropical disease?

Mosquitos are sorted at the Dallas County mosquito lab in Dallas, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. The last time Dallas used aerial spraying to curb the mosquito population, Texas' Lyndon Johnson was in the White House, Mission Control in Houston was launching Gemini missions and encephalitis was blamed for more than a dozen deaths. But for the first time in more than 45 years, the city and county planned Thursday to resume dropping insecticide from the air to combat the nation's worst outbreak of West Nile virus, which has killed 10 people and caused at least 200 others to fall ill. (AP)

Mosquitos are sorted at the Dallas County mosquito lab in Dallas, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. The last time Dallas used aerial spraying to curb the mosquito population, Texas’ Lyndon Johnson was in the White House, Mission Control in Houston was launching Gemini missions and encephalitis was blamed for more than a dozen deaths. But for the first time in more than 45 years, the city and county planned Thursday to resume dropping insecticide from the air to combat the nation’s worst outbreak of West Nile virus, which has killed 10 people and caused at least 200 others to fall ill. (AP)

It’s a wild season, already, for West Nile virus. Before 1999, we’d never seen it in the U.S. It was a scourge out of Uganda. Africa. Now, it’s all over the United States. 2012 is shaping up as likely the worst season ever. 700-plus cases already. Dozens dead. Cities spraying. Dallas has declared a state of emergency. And lifestyles are changing as Americans shrink from mosquitoes, dusk, dawn.

They’re going to change more. Climate Change is a bonanza for tropical disease. West Nile’s just the start.

This hour, On Point: climate change and tropical disease, moving north in the U.S.A.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Mike Rawlings, mayor of Dallas, Texas.

Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and the president and director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. You can find his recent op-ed on West Nile here.

Kristy Murray, associate professor of pediatrics at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

David Dausey, chairman of the Public Health Department and a tenured professor of public health at Mercyhurst University.

From Tom’s Reading List

Time “There are no good ways to die, but death by the West Nile virus is worse than most. The tropical disease begins in birds, which pass it onto mosquitoes that then go onto infect human beings with a bite. Most people who contract West Nile won’t experience any symptoms at all, but about 1 in 5 will suffer fever, headaches and body aches, usually lasting a week or so. A far-less lucky 1 in 150 will experience high fever, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma. Some—especially the immuno-compromised and the elderly—will die.”

Mother Jones “Aerial spraying to combat the West Nile virus will continue Friday night across north Texas despite the concerns of residents worried about potential health risks posed by the insecticide.”

CBS News “Tarrant County officials say a Fort Worth man and North Richland Hills woman in their 80s with underlying conditions passed away due to complications from the disease. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone there have been 16 West Nile-related fatalities, with the number of Dallas County cases reaching 262, according to KERA in north Texas. More than 400 cases have been reported around the state.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 22, 2014
Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world. He explains how. Plus: we remember the late, great Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee.

 
Oct 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

We’ll go to Liberia, and hear from a pastor and a physician at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
3 Comments
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment