Bucks Co. records first West Nile virus death of 2013

September 14, 2013 4:25:08 PM PDT
A Bucks County resident is the state's first person to die from West Nile virus this year, according to state officials.

The Department of Environmental Protection reported the death on Friday. The agency did not release the person's name or address, but said the man began exhibiting symptoms Aug. 20.

State officials have recorded six other human cases of West Nile virus this year. The cases have occurred in five counties, including Philadelphia and Delaware, York and Montgomery counties.

The virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that can pick it up from infected birds. It can lead to encephalitis, a dangerous inflammation of the brain. Older people and those with weakened immune systems are at greatest risk.

The first human cases of the year were reported in August. Meanwhile, the DEP has found West Nile-carrying mosquitoes in dozens of Pennsylvania counties.

The largest numbers of virus-carrying mosquitoes have been found in Adams, Berks, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and York counties.