Maryland Reports 1st West Nile Virus Death

by
staff
Maryland health officials reported the state's first death from the West Nile virus.

Maryland Reports 1st West Nile Virus DeathMaryland health officials reported the state's first death from the West Nile virus.

State health department spokeswoman Dori Henry said Thursday that the department is not releasing any details on the death. Maryland has had 13 cases of West Nile virus so far this year. Nineteen cases were reported last year and 23 the year before in Maryland.

In Michigan, health officials said an 87-year-old woman from Kent County is the fifth person to die from the West Nile virus in the state this year.

State Department of Community Health spokeswoman Angela Minicuci (min-uh-KOO'-chee) confirmed the death Thursday.

Federal officials announced Wednesday that West Nile cases nationwide are up 40% since last week and may rival the record years of 2002 and 2003.

Officials said an early spring and hot summer may be responsible. Mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected birds and spread it to people they bite. Symptoms include fever, headache and body aches, and most people get better in a few days.