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Orange County reports the first West Nile death of the year



GARDEN GROVE, California (KABC) – Orange County is reporting its first death of the year from West Nile virus.

County health officials say an elderly man from Garden Grove died of complications from a West Nile infection.

The county has reported five confirmed symptomatic West Nile infections in humans this year, and four of them have been hospitalized. A sixth case was also reported which was asymptomatic.

The county notes that most people infected with West Nile develop no symptoms and are not tested, so the number of people actually infected with the virus is likely much higher.

Historical data from Orange County shows that the region typically suffers several deaths from West Nile each year, with a total of at least 32 deaths during the period 2004-201

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West Nile symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, and fatigue. Anyone experiencing severe symptoms is advised to seek immediate medical attention. Those over the age of 50 or with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for complications.

The West Nile is typically transmitted by mosquitoes. Officials are urging the public to take steps to reduce the mosquito population, including eliminating standing water around the home, wearing long protective clothing when outside, and applying insect repellent containing DEET.

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