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Texas reports 3 more deaths from West Nile virus

08-29-2012 17:40 BJT

HOUSTON, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. state of Texas on Tuesday reported three more deaths caused by the West Nile virus, bringing the death toll in the Lone Star state to at least 34 so far this year.

Health officials confirmed that a 75-year-old man from Montague County died on Aug. 12, a 78-year-old woman in San Antonio died on Aug. 22, and another woman from Nueces County, whose age was not confirmed, died Monday.

Meanwhile, health officials in Houston confirmed two more cases of the West Nile virus, bringing the total number of infections to 20 in Texas' largest city.

Texas has been a hotbed of the West Nile virus, which was first identified in Uganda in 1937 and detected in the U.S. in 1999. Health officials have reported about 783 cases in 73 counties across Texas.

In the neighboring state of Oklahoma, two more deaths were confirmed on Tuesday, bringing the death toll from the virus in the state to five so far this year.

There have been more than 1,200 West Nile cases reported in the U.S.this year, with at least 40 deaths. The U.S. has reported more than 30,000 cases of the virus since 1999.

The virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can lead to serious neurological disease in some cases. Its symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, nausea, dizziness and muscle weakness.

Commonly seen in temperate and tropical regions, the West Nile virus mainly infects birds, but is also known to infect human bodies mainly through mosquito bites. Scientists say about 80 percent of infections are symptomless.

 

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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