CINCINNATI - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a stark warning to Americans this weekend over the rise in “Bengal fever,” known formally as the CINCI-19 virus, which has reportedly hit its highest positivity rate since 1989.
The CDC released data early Saturday morning that shows a staggering number of positive cases both in large cities and rural communities across the country.
“This level of Bengal fever is something we haven’t seen in years,” Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC, said in an exclusive interview with EOTB. “Nearly every part of the country outside of a very small pocket of southern California and an even smaller cluster in the St. Louis, Missouri region are seeing case numbers spike.”
Walensky added that the number of cases in the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore areas is also much less than the national average, but that slower growth “is still something for those cities to be seriously concerned about.”
Bengal fever can be traced back to its origins in southwestern Ohio during the late 1960s and has laid for the most part dormant since its last outbreak in 1989. This even includes a small uptick in 2020 for about 10 weeks before dying down again.
Starting at the beginning of 2021 and now into 2022, however, positivity rates have slowly climbed again, resulting in levels never before seen over the last few weeks.
Although the fatality rate from Bengal fever is zero, those infected with CINCI-19 just this week have reported experiencing the following:
- Fever, aches, and random body pains
- General restlessness
- Anxiety, an inability to focus on day-to-day activities
- Digestive issues, a constant hunger for Skyline Chili
- The sudden urge to yell “Who dey?” in public settings
- Hallucinations (some even describe seeing an angelic form of NFL QB Joe Burrow)
- Skin rashes that resemble actual Bengal tiger stripes
Walensky encouraged Americans to talk to their physicians and get tested if experiencing any of the above symptoms but was overall bullish on whether she sees the CINCI-19 virus lasting much longer.
“Right now, there’s not much we can do to avoid the spread with as quickly as it has escalated the last few weeks, this thing will have to just run its course,” she said. “But taking a look at infection rates provided by our southwestern Ohio labs, I am confident this spike will be temporary, almost seasonal.”
“On top of that, our data has been historically accurate and reliable at predicting the severity and length of virus outbreaks,” she added. “Americans can feel good about knowing this Bengal fever will merely be a passing fad, not something that will impact society in the years to come.”
For now, it looks like Americans will be faced with a few more weeks of a pandemic, one rearing its head for the first time in two decades.