West Nile virus kills 46 in US’ Texas state

September 8th, 2012 - 10:11 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 8 (IANS) At least 46 people have died from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus in Texas state in the US this year, Xinhua reported.

The latest reports came from Dallas county and El Paso county, with each county confirming one death due to the virus, according to local TV channel ABC13.

Amid a nationwide outbreak of the virus, Texas is the worst hit state with almost 45 percent of the nation’s total, and about half of the deaths.

The number of virus cases reported in Texas this year totalled 1,013, among which are at least 523 cases of neuro-invasive West Nile, the most serious form of the illness as it affects the nervous system.

In 2003, Texas recorded 439 neuro-invasive cases, according to Xinhua.

The number of West Nile virus cases reported across the US till September is also the highest since the disease was discovered in the country in 1999, officials said.

Till Sep 4, 48 states reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes. Over 70 percent of the cases have been reported from six states — Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Michigan.

Health officials in Oklahoma also said the state had broken its record for West Nile virus cases in a single year.

First identified in Uganda in 1937, West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness that leads to serious neurological disease in some cases. Its symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, nausea, dizziness and muscle weakness.

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