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Over 700 Cases Of West Nile Virus Reported In U.S. This Summer

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DALLAS, TX. (CNN) - The United States is experiencing its biggest spike in West Nile virus cases since 2004.   

The federal government counts nearly 700 cases of the West Nile Virus -- which is spread by infected mosquitoes -- in 32 states this year.  Of those, 26 people have died.

Texas is the hardest-hit state, with at least 16 deaths.

The Mayor of Dallas declared a state of emergency Wednesday, a week after Dallas County.

And in a controversial move to fight the spread of the virus, airplanes began spraying pesticide over the Dallas area Thursday night.

That hasn't happened there since 19-66.  

A teen in Arlington, Texas has a rare strand of the virus that affects her brain. At any moment, she could lose consciousness or control of her limbs.  

Her mother is thankful she recognized the signs that something was seriously wrong.

If a parent is not connected with their child, your child could die on your sofa and you not know it because it just seemed like Jordan was taking a nap and not waking up.

In North Carolina -- public health officials say an 84 year old man is the first person to die from the virus in the state in at least seven years.

His wife of 65 years knew something was off when he fell asleep during a NASCAR race, something he had never done before.

He sat in this chair one afternoon and slept through the whole NASCAR race and he was an avid race-car fan.

He was diagnosed with the virus on his second trip to the hospital.

I'm Andrew Spencer reporting.

Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.
There are no medications to treat the West Nile virus or vaccines to prevent infection.
People with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, but those more seriously affected may need hospital care.

Health experts say prevention measures include avoiding mosquito bites, using insect repellant and getting rid of insect breeding sites.