Ann J. Curley
September 12, 2012

Despite a 35% jump in West Nile virus cases since last week, federal health officials said Wednesday that they believe the worst part of the U.S. outbreak is past and expect the number of cases to decline.

“We think the worst part of the epidemic is behind us,” said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases.

Unless next week’s number of cases shows a surprising increase, he said, Wednesday’s briefing will be the final one for the 2012 West Nile virus season.

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