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Two West Nile Deaths Reported in Texas

August 1, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ A 68-year-old East Texas man and an 85-year-old North Texas woman have died after contracting the West Nile virus, state health officials said.

Roy Jepsen died July 20. The North Texas woman, whose identity has not been released, died Sunday, said Emily Palmer, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Health.

The two cases were confirmed by the state lab Thursday. An Alabama woman in her 80s was the first person in the nation this year to die from West Nile, Alabama health officials said Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta reported 59 human cases of the West Nile virus this year as of Thursday.

Last year there were a record 4,156 West Nile cases in the United States, including 284 deaths.

The virus is spread by mosquitoes that have fed on infected animals. The disease produces flu-like symptoms, including headaches, swollen glands, muscle aches and a rash.

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On the Net:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile

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