Worst year ever for West Nile in Texas; 43 dead

Worst year ever for West Nile in Texas; 43 dead

Credit: AP

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2012 file photo, mosquitos are sorted at the Dallas County mosquito lab in Dallas. U.S. health officials say there's been an alarming increase in the number of West Nile cases. So far there have been more than 1,100 cases reported through the middle of August. That's three times as many as usually seen at this point in the year. About half the cases are in Texas. Most West Nile infections are reported in August and September. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

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by Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 6 at 10:55 AM

DALLAS, Texas -- Health officials say it's the worst year ever for West Nile in Texas, which has seen about half the country's deaths from the virus this year.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said Wednesday that at least 43 people have died from the virus in Texas. The state has recorded at least 510 cases of neuroinvasive West Nile, the most serious form of the illness.

That's already worse than in all of 2003, when Texas had 439 neuroinvasive cases and 40 deaths.

Federal officials said there have been at least 87 deaths nationwide this year. Due to reporting delays that number only includes 35 deaths in Texas.

Officials say numbers are expected to increase through mid-October. But they say there are indications that August marked the peak.

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