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Treating People Stricken With West Nile Virus Cost $800 Million Published: February 12, 2014

Fifteen years ago an unwelcome viral visitor entered the U.S., and we've been paying for it ever since.

NPR reports the U.S recorded its first case of West Nile virus back in 1999. Since then, the disease has spread across the lower 48 states and cost the country around $800 million, scientists reported this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

The hefty bill works out to about $57 million a year. And the tab doesn't include money spent to control mosquitoes that spread the virus, according to NPR.

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