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Orange County woman dies of West Nile virus

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POSTED December 17, 2012 9:18 p.m.

TUSTIN  (AP) — A Southern California woman has died from the West Nile virus after falling ill several weeks ago, health officials said Monday.

It's the first Orange County death from the mosquito-borne virus since 2008, according to The Orange County Register.

The county Health Care Agency says the 61-year-old Tustin woman died last week after contracting the most severe form of the illness, called West Nile neuroinvasive disease.

West Nile is passed through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on infected birds.

One out of every 150 infected people develops severe symptoms, including neck stiffness, disorientation, coma and paralysis.

Forty-five people in Orange County have fallen ill with West Nile virus this year, the highest number of cases since 2008.

That year, 79 people got sick and three died in the county south of Los Angeles


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