CDC: West Nile cases up 32 percent
The number of U.S. cases of West Nile virus rose 25 percent in the latest week, while the number of deaths jumped 32 percent, placing the 2012 outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease on track to be the most severe on record, health officials said Wednesday.
So far this year 1,993 cases have been reported to federal health officials, up from 1,590 reported the week before, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its weekly update of outbreak data. A total of 87 people have now died from the disease compared with 66 reported one week ago.
The disease has been reported in people, birds or mosquitoes in 48 U.S. states, so far absent only in Alaska and Hawaii. Nearly half of all human cases, 888, are in Texas, which has been the epicenter of this year's outbreak, the CDC said. The state accounts for 35 deaths, or 40 percent of those who have perished from the disease this year.
South Dakota has the next-highest number, with 119 cases and two deaths. More than 70 percent of the cases have been reported from Texas, South Dakota and four other states: Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Michigan.
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