In just one week, the CDC substantially increased the number of West Nile virus cases in the US, confirming that the country is currently "in one of the biggest West Nile virus outbreaks we have ever seen," says a CDC director. The number of cases now stands at 1,118 and the number of deaths at 41, up from last week's report: 693 cases and 26 deaths. Nearly half of all the cases and more than half of the deaths have been in Texas, but Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Dakota have also been hit hard, USA Today reports.
"The number of West Nile cases in people has risen dramatically in the last few weeks and indicates that we are in one of the biggest West Nile virus outbreaks we have ever seen in this country," says a CDC official. In all, 38 states have reported cases in humans this year. (Read more West Nile virus stories.)