Md. reports 1st death from West Nile virus in 2015; residents told to guard against mosquitoes

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BALTIMORE — Public health officials say the first confirmed death from West Nile virus in 2015 has been reported.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a news release Tuesday that the patient, identified only as an older adult who lived in Baltimore County, died on Sept. 8.

Officials say the death was confirmed to be attributed to West Nile virus on Monday.

The department says there have been 29 confirmed cases of West Nile virus infection so far this year in Maryland, compared with six last year.

The disease that is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Deputy Secretary of Public Health Dr. Howard Haft says while the virus usually produces few or no symptoms, people over 60 have the greatest risk of developing severe disease.

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