NEW YORK -- U.S. health officials say last year was the worst ever for West Nile virus deaths.
The final tally reported Monday was 286 deaths - or two more than the record set in 2002.
But there were far fewer illnesses overall, and fewer serious cases than in previous years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had predicted it would be a bad year because of weather conditions that promote breeding of the mosquitoes that spread the virus to people.
The CDC report Monday showed Texas had nearly a third of the serious cases, and about a third of the deaths.
West Nile virus was first diagnosed in Uganda in 1937, but no cases were reported in the U.S. until 1999 in New York. It gradually spread to the West Coast.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.