A 75-year-old St. Louis woman has died from West Nile Virus, according to preliminary results of tests forwarded to the State Health Department. It is the first suspected human death from the disease in Missouri. Health Department spokesman Nanci Gonder says it will take another week to confirm the diagnosis. The department was notified of the death after an independent laboratory had a preliminary positive finding for West Nile virus from lab tests. The first human case of West Nile Virus associated with the state was reported August 13th when the Massachusetts health department informed Missouri health officials of the tests of a resident there. A 38-year-old Massachusetts resident who visited the St. Louis area in late July became ill August 2nd after her return to Massachusetts. Evidence strongly suggested the individual contracted the virus in Missouri. Missouri health officials says Missourians need to keep protecting themselves from mosquito bites. Standing water should be gotten rid of to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and Missourians should wear insect repellant that contains DEET when they go outdoors.
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