Third West Nile virus death reported, mosquito fogging continues

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PHOENIX -- Even as Maricopa County works on fogging several areas of the Valley for mosquitoes, a third person has died of West Nile virus.

The first West Nile death, an elderly East Valley woman who had a pre-existing health condition, was reported on July 14.

According to health officials, the number of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile this year has almost tripled.

In addition to the fogging, county health officials are asking people to report dead birds, as well as increases in mosquitoes.

West Nile virus can cause serious illness, although only 20 percent of those infected will develop the flu-like symptoms that characterize infection.

West Nile was first discovered in Arizona in 2003. Since then, more than 900 cases in humans have been reported. With nearly 400 cases and 16 deaths, 2004 was the worst year for the virus. Last year, there were just 20 cases reported and no fatalities.

In Maricopa County, for more information on West Nile virus, to set up an appointment to obtain mosquito eating fish at no cost to you, to report green pools, file any mosquito related complaint, register on the Fogging Notification System or for WNV materials or presentations for your group/organization, please call the West Nile Virus General Information and Help Line at 602-506-0700, or visit www.maricopa.gov/wnv.