West Nile Virus: What You Need To Know

Mosquito
According to health officials, 2012 was the worst year ever for West Nile virus in Texas, which has seen about half of the country’s deaths from the illness that year.

At least 43 people have died from the virus in Texas, and the state has recorded at least 510 cases of neuroinvasive West Nile, considered the most serious form of the illness because it affects the nervous system, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

That’s already worse than in all of 2003, when Texas had 439 neuroinvasive cases and 40 deaths.

Officials say the numbers are expected to increase through mid-October. They say there are indications that August marked the peak, especially in the hard-hit North Texas area that includes Dallas and Fort Worth. But since symptoms can take two weeks to appear, reporting cases lags behind when people became infected.