Utah County Woman Infected with West Vile Virus

Utah County Woman Infected with West Vile Virus

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A Utah County woman who had visited Arizona has tested positive for the West Nile virus.

It was not known in which state the woman, who was between 55 and 64 years old, was bitten by the mosquito carrying the disease. Her name has not been released.

"The latest that I've heard is that she is not sick enough to need hospitalization," said Dr. Joseph Miner, director of the Utah County Health Department.

Miner said the woman began exhibiting the symptoms the day she returned from a nine-day vacation to Maricopa County in Arizona.

The Phoenix area and elsewhere in Maricopa County have had more than 250 cases of West Nile this year. Three people have died from West Nile this year in Arizona. All were elderly residents of Maricopa County.

"Most deaths occur in people over 70, but most cases of neurologic damage occurs in people after age 50," Miner said.

Utah County Health Department spokeswoman Susan Chapman said the health department was contacted about the case by a relative of the infected person. Blood samples were sent to the state health lab, which confirmed on Wednesday that the samples were positive for West Nile virus.

It has not been determined whether the woman was infected in Arizona or Utah, Miner said.

"Arizona doesn't think it is their case but it could well be," he said. "The incubation for West Nile virus is two to 14 days."

The case is the fourth diagnosed in Utah so far this year, he said.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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