CDC: Nation on track for deadliest West Nile year

by Mike Stobbe

(AP)—Health officials say they're convinced this will be the worst year for West Nile virus deaths and severe illnesses since the disease hit America's shores in 1999.

Officials on Wednesday said so far 1,405 serious illnesses and 118 deaths have been reported across the country, the bulk of them in Texas.

But it's only September and infections are expected to continue into October, even though the height of the mosquito season is over.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts the numbers will surpass the 2002 record of nearly 3,000 severe cases and 284 deaths.

The disease is transmitted through .

More information: CDC: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm

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