NEW YORK (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.
So far, 1,405 serious illnesses and 118 deaths from West Nile have been reported across the country. The bulk are in Texas but Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Michigan have also seen substantial numbers.
The worst year for the mosquito-borne disease was 2002, which saw nearly 3,000 severe cases and 284 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This year's count of severe cases rose by more than 30 percent in the past week, and is on track to surpass 2002, the CDC's Dr. Lyle Petersen said in a call with reporters on Wednesday.
While the height of mosquito season has passed, infections are expected to continue into October, and severe illness and death reports are expected to keep coming in for months, CDC officials said.
West Nile virus was first diagnosed in Uganda in 1937, but no cases were reported in the U.S. until 1999 in New York. The virus gradually spread across the country.
Only about 1 in 5 infected people get sick. Early symptoms can include fever, headache and body aches. Some recover in a matter of days. But 1 in 150 infected people will develop severe symptoms including neck stiffness, disorientation, coma and paralysis.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Three people are dead after a shooting near the University of South Alabama Tuesday, December 10. Mobile Police tell FOX10 news it is investigating the case as a double homicide and a suicide, which they believe began after a domestic …
The homeowner said she left for several hours to run errands, when she returned there were tire marks in her front yard with part of her door kicked in.
Orange Beach Police say 20-year-old Carlos Garcia, 27-year-old Steven Erickson, and 20-year-old Cody Erickson, were all charged with seven counts of burglary third degree, two counts of theft of property second degree, and four counts of …
Almost three months after the accident that took the life of 48-year-old Sari McKane, the next step in the process to make the site of the crash safer is underway.
State workers were out early, installing the first poles that will hold a …
Voters in Creola have decided not to become part of Saraland. Residents voted against the proposed annexation 536 to 349 with 29 provisional ballots.
The Mobile County Sheriff's Office said deputies are looking for an attempted bank robbery suspect. They said the entered the Bay Bank on Dauphin Island Parkway in Fowl River just before 5 p.m. and handed a note to the teller, demanding …