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Person dies of West Nile Virus in Onondaga County

The Onondaga County Health Department says elderly person who passed away is the first death from West Nile Virus the county has ever had.
Onondaga County (WSYR-TV) – The Onondaga County Health Department says a person in the county has died from West Nile Virus.

The health department says an older adult, who was the county’s second human case of the virus this year, was hospitalized for several days and later succumbed to the disease.

The health department says this is the first death from West Nile Virus the county has ever had. It is also the first death attributed to the West Nile virus in New York State in 2012.

“It is with sorrow that I share this news today. My thoughts are with the family.” said county health commissioner Dr. Cynthia Morrow.

The health department says the details of this individual’s death will not be shared with the public out of respect for the family and for confidentiality reasons.

80 percent of the people who contract West Nile virus are unaware of it. The rest suffer from flu-like symptoms. In very rare cases, the virus can attack the brain and become deadly.

Earlier in August, the health department said an adult was briefly hospitalized after contracting West Nile Virus, but was expected to fully recover.

A child in Oswego County was also diagnosed with the virus earlier this month.

Several mosquito pools in Central New York have tested positive for the virus this year in areas including Central Square, New Haven, Lysander, Jordan and Syracuse.

When NewsChannel 9 spoke to the Onondaga County Health Department earlier this month, there were no plans to spray for mosquitoes. The health department stated it would spray when the deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, is found. So far, there have been no signs of EEE in Onondaga County.

The Onondaga County Health Department has more information about West Nile Virus on its website.

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