Cases of West Nile virus spike - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Cases of West Nile virus spike

HOUSTON (CNN) -

The CDC reports a dramatic spike in West Nile virus cases.

Cases of West Nile virus are up 25 percent over the past week, to nearly 2000 reported cases. Eighty-seven of them were fatal.

Those numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also said the number of cases are expected to rise further over the next several weeks.

Seventy percent of the cases are in six states with Texas being hit the hardest. The state is battling the source, mosquitoes, by ground and by air.

"The mosquito is the key here, it is the vector, it is part of that chain that takes the disease from the bird and it bites the human and passes it on to the human, without the mosquito you break that chain," said Dr. Don Read.

In New Orleans, the city is urging people to protect themselves from the virus in the wake of Isaac. The storm left behind debris and standing water, which can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

To protect yourself against mosquitoes that may carry the virus, the C-D-C recommends wearing long pants and sleeves during dusk and dawn -- which are prime mosquito times.

It also recommends wearing insect repellent outdoors; installing or repairing screens on doors and windows and emptying standing water from outdoor containers and objects that collect water.

Copyright 2012 CNN. All rights reserved.

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