more West Nile cases may just be due to better test


Thread Starter
Nov 15, 2000
Cases of West Nile Soaring; Rise May Reflect New Test for Virus

Associated Press
Friday, September 19, 2003; Page A03

ATLANTA, Sept. 18 -- The United States is headed for another record number of West Nile virus cases this year, with the total rising by more than a third in the past week alone, officials said today.

Nationwide, 4,137 human cases had been reported by today, 19 shy of last year's total of 4,156, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. But one reason is the availability of a new test to diagnose the virus.

Despite the high number of infections, far fewer deaths have occurred. Eighty have been reported; last year, 284 people died from the effects of the virus.

The number of reported infections climbed by more than 1,200 in the past week. But health officials said even that may be far lower than the actual number, because many mild infections are not diagnosed. Most of this year's reported cases have been in the South and West.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

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