An 87-year-old Sussex County resident became the first Delawarean to die from the West Nile Virus on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2003.
Hospitalized on Sept. 23, the individual was not identified by Delaware Health and Social Services. Delaware's Public Health Laboratory confirmed the disease on Sept. 30.
With another New Castle County resident testing positive for the disease on Sept. 20, the state has now had 10 confirmed human cases of West Nile.
As of Oct. 3, the Public Health Laboratory had identified West Nile in 108 wild birds, 21 sentinel chickens and 62 horses, including horses in Georgetown, Selbyville and Lewes and birds in Milford, Milton, Lewes and Bethany Beach.
Transmitted by infected mosquitoes, West Nile typically only presents itself with mild flu-like symptoms.
Humans infected with the disease rarely experience more serious symptoms such as sudden onset of a severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, confusion muscle weakness.
Delaware Health and Social Services says anyone experiencing the more severe symptoms should contact a physician immediately.
For questions about West Nile Virus in humans or to report suspected cases of human West Nile Virus, call DPH at 1-888-295-5156.
To report sick or dead wild birds, call Mosquito Control at 422-1512 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For questions about animal health, call the Department of Agriculture at 1-800-282-8685 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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