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CDC: West Nile cases rise 40 percent in 7 days

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Federal health officials said that 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. 

They said that West Nile cases are up 40 percent since last week. 

The Centers for Disease Control said that a total of 1,590 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 66 deaths, have been reported.

Of these, 889 (56%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 701 (44%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.

The 1,590 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the last week in August since West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999, said officials.

Over 70 percent of the cases have been reported from six states; Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Michigan.  Over 45 percent of all cases have been reported from Texas.

In a media telephone event, the health officials said that cases will likely continue through October, but have likely peaked or are peaking by now.