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Despite recent uptick, West Nile cases down in Minnesota this summer

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State officials have confirmed 21 cases of West Nile virus so far this year, well below the 103 cases confirmed last year, though news earlier this week noted an uptick in reported cases.

The Minnesota Department of Health says one person in western Minnesota farm country has died from the disease, reports KSTP-TV.

Stearns County in central Minnesota tops the state with three confirmed cases of West Nile virus, according to a report by the Star Tribune.

Earlier this week, WCCO reported that there were 25 known cases, but that number appears to have been amended.

Whatever the exact number, the number of cases rose significantly over the last month.

The 116 confirmed cases in 2007 are the most since the virus first arrived in Minnesota in 1999, according to the Strib. That number was nearly eclipsed last summer when 103 cases were confirmed.

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