Experts seek answers from historic West Nile surge

Experts seek answers from historic West Nile surge

Credit: AP

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2012 file photo, mosquitos are sorted at the Dallas County mosquito lab in Dallas. U.S. health officials say there's been an alarming increase in the number of West Nile cases. So far there have been more than 1,100 cases reported through the middle of August. That's three times as many as usually seen at this point in the year. About half the cases are in Texas. Most West Nile infections are reported in August and September. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

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by Associated Press

kvue.com

Posted on December 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM

DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- Health experts are turning their attention to learning lessons from one of the deadliest West Nile outbreaks in U.S. history.

Federal authorities are collecting data and examining factors for the mosquito-borne illness that killed more than 240 in the U.S. -- about a third of them in Texas. Meanwhile, Dallas County, the epicenter of the outbreak, has begun year-round mosquito surveillance and testing.

What remains unclear is whether experts will be able to shed light on what caused it, why parts of Texas were so severely affected and if the next major surge can be forecast.

Dr. Lyle Petersen of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention questions whether experts will ever be able to sort it out.

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