West Nile Claims First Utah Victim

West Nile Claims First Utah Victim

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(KSL News) -- The West Nile Virus has claimed its first victim in Utah.

Shirley Cook, 72, of Vernal, died September 3rd. The Uintah County man started having flu-like symptoms in August. But they got much worse.

Lisa Wyman/ Utah Dept. of Health: "His West Nile infection eventually resulted in encephalitis, inflamation of the brain. A cascade of events after that did, unfortunately, lead to his fatality."

Twent-three Utahns have been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease so far this year. That's compared with 11 last year, and one the previous year.

Most infected people don't show any symptoms. But the risk of serious illness increases with age.

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