First report of West Nile Disease death

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Missouri News Horizon
West Nile Disease claims its first victim in Missouri. The state Department of Health and Senior Services reports a 78-year old man died from the mosquito borne illness earlier this month.

According to the health department, he contracted the disease in late July. The Lebanon Daily Record newspaper identifies the victim as a Lebanon resident. The department of health says three other people in the state currently have West Nile disease.

The illness is carried by birds and spread by mosquitoes who bite the birds, then bite humans. Most cases occur in August and September. It is usually non fatal, though it is dangerous in people’s whose immune systems are weak.

Federal health officials say this is the worst season ever for the incidence of the rare disease, with Texas experiencing the worst outbreak and the most deaths.