Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
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LA County Confirms First West Nile Death of 2018

LA County Confirms First West Nile Death of 2018

Almost half have been in Cook County, but a few other East Central Illinois counties - Coles, Edgar and Ford - have each had one human case this season, too, according to IDPH.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles County health officials announced the first West Nile virus death of the year.

People are also advised to minimize any standing water around the house, which provides a breeding environment for more mosquitoes. The state did not release the identity of the person who died from complications with West Nile, but the Lebanon Daily News published an obituary for Ruth Adams of Palmyra, who passed away after "a brief but fierce battle with West Nile Virus".

West Nile season typically begins with warmer weather in the summer and continues into the fall. The mosquito is known for the ability to spread West Nile Virus to humans after coming into contact with native birds and horses.

In 2017, 268 human cases of the virus had been identified in Los Angeles County, with 27 deaths ultimately reported. The previous high after 2003 had been 60 cases with four deaths in 2012. Health authorities warn all the residents of nearby areas to be careful and pay attention to health. The symptoms typically last only a few days. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flowerpots, old vehicle tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.

Officials say most people infected do not become ill but if they do, the virus can cause headaches and fever, body aches and occasionally, a skin rash or swollen glands.

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