TRAVIS COUNTY Six here have died from West Nile virus


With the peak of the na­tion’s worst West Nile virus sea­son over, 86 peo­ple have died in Texas from the virus, in­clud­ing six in Travis County. The sixth per­son to suc­cumb to the more se­vere neu­ro­log­i­cal form of the disease, on Nov. 2, was over age 50, a risk fac­tor for com­pli­ca­tions from West Nile.

Though the Austin/ Travis County Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment an­nounced two other West Nile deaths the same week, it did not no­tify re­porters of the ad­di­tional death at the time. The news was posted on its web­site, spokes­woman Ca­role Barasch said.

Over­all, the U.S. Cen­ters for Disease Con­trol and Preven­tion re­ported 5,387 cases of West Nile virus disease, in­clud­ing 243 deaths. Texas had more cases, 1,834, and more deaths than any other state.

West Nile cases have de­clined since late fall, but the state health de­part­ment still re­ceives re­ports of four or five new cases a day. Of­fi­cials urge pre­cau­tions to con­tinue, in­clud­ing spray­ing with DEET and re­mov­ing stand­ing water.

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