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Number of West Nile cases rises

SACRAMENTO - Sacramento County added another 13 cases to its West Nile virus count Friday, representing an 11 percent jump and more than half of all new cases reported in California since Tuesday.

With 129 cases now on record, the county continues to dominate the statewide tally, which reached 593 on Friday, up from 571, with eight deaths.

Carol Glaser, chief of the viral disease laboratory at the state Department of Health Services, said unlike in 2004 when the state's West Nile caseload peaked in mid-August, cases are continuing to climb in 2005.

Last year's West Nile caseload reached 830, with most of the cases concentrated in Southern California, and a total of 28 deaths.

Of the Sacramento County cases this year, 72 are classified as West Nile fever and 41 as neuroinvasive disease; 14 involved blood donors with unknown symptoms; and two had no symptoms. One person, a Delta man, has died. Just 20 percent of all those infected with the mosquito-borne virus will experience symptoms.