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West Nile virus toll grows to 8 in U.S. state of Oklahoma

09-12-2012 04:08 BJT

HOUSTON, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Eight people have died from West Nile virus in the U.S. state of Oklahoma so far this year, the state health department said on Tuesday.

The latest fatality was a man older than 65 who lived in Tulsa County, according to a release from the department.

Of the confirmed deaths so far, two were in Oklahoma County, three in Tulsa County, one in Seminole County, and the remaining two in Carter County.

This year Oklahoma has broken its record for the most confirmed cases of West Nile virus. A total of 127 West Nile cases have so far been confirmed by the state health department.

Oklahoma previously reported a record 107 West Nile infections in 2007. Nine people in the state died from the virus that year.

This year has also witnessed the worst outbreak of West Nile nationally since the virus was discovered in the United States in 1999, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far there have been 1,993 cases reported nationwide.

Texas, the worst-hit state in the current outbreak, has about half of the nation's deaths from the illness. The state has confirmed 48 deaths related to West Nile virus so far this 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.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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