Maricopa County Woman First To Die From West Nile This Year

July 31, 2013

An elderly woman with underlying health issues is the first person in Maricopa County to have died this year from the West Nile virus. Maricopa County Health Director Bob England said the woman's death is a sad reminder of the seriousness of West Nile virus.

The disease is transmitted to humans by bites from infected mosquitoes. About 20 percent of the people who are infected will feel flu-like symptoms.

The woman's death was announced today, but department spokesman Jeanine Fowler said she actually died two weeks ago. Fowler said it took time to confirm the woman had West Nile.

Fowler said the woman lived in the southeastern Phoenix suburbs, but that it is not clear where she contracted the virus. Fowler does note that West Nile is present throughout the county.

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