2Nd West Nile death reported in Maricopa County

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX (AP) -- Maricopa County has reported its second death from West Nile virus.

The county health department says an elderly man died earlier this month after contracting the virus. The victim's name and age were not released, but health officials say he lived in the "East Valley."

An elderly Gilbert woman who died in June was this year's first West Nile virus victim.

As of Thursday, Maricopa County has reported 22 cases of the virus with most of them appearing in cities east of Phoenix.

Last year, there were 20 human cases of West Nile in Arizona -- all but one in Maricopa County. There were no reported deaths.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans from mosquitoes who have picked up the disease from ill birds. The virus was first detected in Arizona in 2003.