West Nile in L.A; first death in Phoenix

June 25, 2004 at 8:36 PM

LOS ANGELES, June 25 (UPI) -- The first death from West Nile virus in the Phoenix area was reported Friday and the first case in Los Angeles.

The Arizona Republic said Maricopa County health authorities planned to release details of the fatality at a news conference. At least 14 Arizona residents have been diagnosed with West Nile since the virus first appeared in the county last summer.

West Nile had been seen in Southern California's San Bernardino County, but not in the neighboring L.A. area until Friday when it was confirmed in an unidentified man in the eastern half of the county.

West Nile is spread by mosquitoes that bite infected birds.

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