Second West Nile Virus death reported

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 30, 2002

The West Nile virus, which has taken its toll all over the nation this summer, has apparently claimed a second life in Alabama.

According to a release from the Alabama Department of Public Health, the department was notified that a previously reported individual affected with the West Nile virus has died as a result of the virus.

The fatality, the second to be reported in Alabama, occurred in an elderly woman from Montgomery County.

Also, two more human cases of the virus have been reported,

one involving 58-year-old man from Etowah County and the other a 75-year-old man from Jefferson County.

The two individuals are currently recovering, and the two most recent cases bring the total number of West Nile infections reported in Alabama to 30. Both fatal cases have involved elderly women from Montgomery.

An assistant state health officer for disease control and prevention for the state said he regrets hearing about the latest fatality in the state.

"We are saddened to by the death of another Alabama resident," said Dr. Charles Woernle. "The elderly continue to be the group at the highest risk for severe from West Nile virus. Individuals must continue to take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes."

The potential danger of the West Nile virus is expected to continue until daily temperatures in the state decrease sufficiently to slow mosquito activity, and officials say that this usually does not occur until the first freeze.

On Wednesday, the department announced three additional nonfatal cases of the infection, including a 78-year-old man from Jefferson County, a 65-year-old man from Marion County and a 38-year-old man from Madison County.