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Published July 30, 2013, 08:57 PM

Daughter recalls father's death due to West Nile Virus

The North Dakota Department of Health says August is a peak month for west nile virus. Officials are warning people to take extra precautions in order to avoid contracting the virus.

By: Cynthia Johnson, WDAZ

The North Dakota Department of Health says August is a peak month for west nile virus. Officials are warning people to take extra precautions in order to avoid contracting the virus.

89 people in North Dakota got the disease last year and One case was fatal. We spoke with the daughter of a man who died from complications of West Nile in February.

Kim Rath was only 58 when one mosquito bite led to flu-like symptoms in August last year. His daughter Bridgette says her father was probably out farming when he got the infectious bite. Two days later, Rath went to the first of several hospitals for treatment. His symptoms got worse, and Rath was put on a ventilator, a feeding tube and placed in intensive care. After six months in the hospital, he died from the virus. Bridgette says her family knew the risks the disease posed to livestock, but did not expect a loved one to contract the virus.

"Last year we saw a tremendous number of cases where folks are still ill and they're still recuperating, and then Dad died," Said Bridgette. "And so it's much more of a traumatic event and it's much more of a dangerous disease than we think."

In terms of West Nile in Grand Forks mosquitoes, the health department says all tests came back negative for the virus Tuesday. Still, the health department cautions that the virus is still in the local mosquito and bird population.

The health department says that

August is the peak month for West Nile Virus because the type of mosquito that carries west nile virus, culex tarsalis, increases with the hot weather, leading to more human cases.

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