9 Deaths in August 2003 from West Nile Virus

As we move into the peak season for West Nile Virus, the current death count on August 15th is at 9. These took place in Colorado, Texas and Alabama. The total reported cases so far in 2003 is 393.

In 2002 there were a total of 284 deaths by October, the end of the main West Nile Virus season. Most of those cases took place between August and October. There were 4,156 total reported cases. With media and doctor's attention much more focussed on this illness, it is expected that far more cases will be caught and reported this year.

The only three US continental states completely virus clear so far are Oregon, Nevada and Utah.

This virus was first seen in Uganda in 1937, and only came to the US around four years ago. It is primarily spread by mosquito bite. Even though the chance of being bitten by a mosquito infected with West Nile is as remote as being struck by lightining, it always pays to take basic precautions to keep from being bitten.

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