CDC says U.S. deaths from West Nile virus jumps to 41. USA TODAY
The number of West Nile virus cases in the U.S. jumped dramatically in one week, increasing to 1,118, with 41 deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today.
The report marks a substantial increase from last week's tally of 693 cases and 26 deaths.
Approximately 75% of the cases have been in five states: Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota and Oklahoma, the CDC says.
Texas has been hardest hit, accounting for almost half of all cases.
As of Tuesday there had been 21 deaths and and 586 cases there, says Christine Mann with the Texas Department of State Health Services.
West Nile outbreak largest ever in U.S. CNN
The recent West Nile virus outbreak is the largest ever seen in the United States, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of cases so far this year is the highest recorded through August since the disease was first detected in the United States in 1999. As of Tuesday, 38 states had reported human infections.
The cases reported to the CDC as of Tuesday total 1,118, including 41 deaths. That number rose to 42 on Wednesday when a death was reported in Arkansas.
"The peak of West Nile virus epidemics usually occurs in mid-August, but it takes a couple of weeks for people to get sick, go to the doctor and get reported," said Dr. Lyle Petersen, the director of the CDC's Vector-Borne Infectious Disease Division. "Thus we expect many more cases to occur."
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