First Death in Delaware from West Nile Virus

Sep 7, 2012

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware public health officials are reporting the state's first death this year from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus.

Officials said a 76-year-old New Castle woman with West Nile virus infection and several underlying medical conditions died Thursday.

The also said tests conducted this week confirmed that an 80-year-old Wilmington woman also contracted the virus, bringing the total this year to three.

The death of the New Castle woman is third in Delaware from West Nile virus since the federal government started tracking West Nile in 1999. The two other deaths were in 2003.

Officials say that nearly 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will not become ill, but that roughly one in 150 people infected develop severe infection such as encephalitis or meningitis.