West Nile Outbreak Worst on Record

Death toll is now 92
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2012 2:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ninety-two people have been killed so far this year by the West Nile virus, and 2,118 have reported infections, making 2012 the worst year on record, according to health officials. The number of West Nile deaths spiked 25% over the past week alone, reports USA Today. Infected patients have been reported in 44 states, although roughly 45% of cases come from Texas, the hardest-hit region.

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The virus will keep spreading "probably through October," says a CDC scientist. This year's mild winter, early spring, and hot summer have created optimal conditions for the breeding of the Culex mosquito, spreader of the sickness. The newspaper rounds up the standard advice: Try to stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most energetic, use repellant when you do go out, and get rid of stagnant water from bird baths, pet dishes, and flower pots. (Read more mosquito stories.)

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