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West Nile deaths mount as one dies in Maryland

WASHINGTON -- The West Nile virus, responsible for more than 60 deaths in the United States so far this year, has now claimed its first victim in the eastern state of Maryland, state health officials said Thursday.

“We reported 13 cases of West Nile virus that occurred since the 1st of July,” a spokeswoman for the state health department, Dori Henry, told AFP.

Between 2001 and 2011, 20 people died of the virus in Maryland, out of a total of 215 infected.

So far this year, the virus has killed 66 people across the country, out of a total of 1,590 infected.

It is the worst outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease since it was first detected in the United States in 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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