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Minnesota reports two deaths from West Nile virus

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Neighboring Minnesota has recorded two deaths from the West Nile virus.

Health officials report 29 human cases of the mosquito-borne virus in the Gopher State this year, many more than Wisconsin reported as of 6 days ago.

The Health Services Department’s Web site in the Badger State reports 4 probable human cases in Eau Claire, Dane, Rock, and Walworth counties. None have been confirmed yet.

Also, Wisconsin has not reported any deaths this year – but that can still happen, since West Nile cases in the Upper Midwest are most common in August and September.

Last year was unusually severe for West Nile, with hundreds of deaths throughout the nation’s mid-section. Wisconsin had 4 deaths in 2012, plus 53 human cases – the most since officials began tracking the West Nile virus in 2002.

Minnesota had 103 total human cases a year ago, almost twice as many as the Badger State.