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Published August 13, 2013, 01:57 PM

N.D., Minnesota report first West Nile deaths

The North Dakota Department of Health has reported the state’s first 2013 West Nile virus death.

The North Dakota Department of Health has reported the state’s first 2013 West Nile virus death.

West Nile program manager Michelle Feist said the victim was a woman older than 60 who lived in the southeastern part of the state. She did not have any underlying health conditions.

The state has seen 16 human cases so far this year, two in Grand Forks County.

Minnesota reported its first death from West Nile virus Monday. Eight people have been hospitalized so far. There is a total of 16 human cases in Minnesota, including one in Polk County; a Crookston resident was infected.

“This time of year we tend to see the mosquito that transmits West Nile virus, it’s in higher numbers. The past few weeks we’ve seen anywhere from 12 to 14 percent of the mosquitoes that are in our surveillance trap are that type of mosquito, the culex tarsalis , and so what that means is that there is risk of West Nile virus transmission and higher risk,” Michelle Feist said.

Grand Forks and East Grand Forks workers will spray for mosquitoes from 8:30 tonight to midnight as a response to two mosquito pools that tested positive for West Nile Monday.

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