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Maryland reports 1st West Nile virus death

Friday - 8/31/2012, 4:18am  ET

BALTIMORE - Maryland health officials are reporting the state's first death from the West Nile virus.

State health department spokeswoman Dori Henry said Thursday that the department is not releasing any details on the death. Maryland has had 13 cases of West Nile virus so far this year. Nineteen cases were reported last year and 23 the year before in Maryland.

Federal officials announced Wednesday that West Nile cases nationwide are up 40 percent since last week and may rival the record years of 2002 and 2003.

Officials say an early spring and hot summer may be responsible. Mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected birds and spread it to people they bite.

Symptoms include fever, headache and body aches, and most people get better in a few days.

Regionally in Maryland, there are 13 reported cases of West Nile being tracked by the Maryland Department of Health.

Here is the breakdown of Maryland cases:

  • National Capital region: 2
  • Baltimore: 4
  • Eastern Shore: 6
  • Western Maryland: 1

There has been one case of West Nile in D.C. and four in Virginia.

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