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Minnesota confirms 9 more West Nile cases

Minnesota health officials say there have been 44 cases of West Nile virus confirmed in the state, including the nine most recent that were added to the total in just the last week. That tally includes one death related to the mosquito-borne illness.
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As officials nationwide had feared, the tally of West Nile virus cases is spiking.

Minnesota added nine new cases within the last week for a total of 44 this year, MPR reports. That tally includes one western Minnesota woman who died.

MPR also has a story about how a West Nile treatment could come from geese.

Hot weather is partially to blame, KARE 11 recently reported.

The National Institutes of Health keeps a page with basic facts about the illness, including symptoms and treatment info. The Centers for Disease Control tracks West Nile data.

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Mosquito-friendly Minnesota is ranked No. 9 among states for West Nile cases this year (20 cases and one death). Health officials nationwide expect there could be a sharp rise in West Nile virus cases as the disease peaks over the next six weeks. They worry that this year's high case count could be just a taste of the future, as changing weather patterns allow the mosquitoes that carry the deadly disease to flourish.

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The Minnesota Department of Health reports a St. Louis County man tested positive for West Nile after visiting south-central Minnesota in late May. He is currently recovering at a hospital. Minnesotans are urged to protect themselves from this potentially life-threatening disease by taking some simple precautions against mosquito bites.

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State health officials say cases of West Nile Virus are at their highest level in at least five years. The mosquitoes that carry the virus flourish is the hot weather that blanketed Minnesota in July. Some of those infected with West Nile don't show symptoms of illness. But if the virus develops into encephalitis it can be fatal.

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Health officials want to be generous with the bug spray during the heat wave that's settling over Minnesota. Late summer heat creates ideal conditions for the mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus. In the Twin Cities, the mosquito control district is chemically treating 77,000 storm drains.