Wayne County man dies from West Nile virus

August 14, 2012 5:58:43 PM PDT
Officials said a Wayne County a resident has become North Carolina's first death from West Nile virus in seven years.

Family members identified the victim as 84-year-old Howard West. They said he was likely bitten by a mosquito while spending time outdoors recovering from a recent surgery and tending to his tomato plants.

"After it started raining so, the mosquitoes were worse around here. And he was not wearing a long-sleeve shirt, until I insisted he do," said West's wife Betty.

Wayne County Health Director Davin Madden said his staff has notified all medical providers in the area about the case.

West Nile virus is typically transmitted by mosquitoes. Madden said people should avoid areas of standing water and wear long sleeves when outdoors.

Some of the symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache and a stiff neck.

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