Pennsylvania has reported the first death from West Nile virus this year, state health officials said.
The virus sickened a Bucks County man on Aug. 20, according to a joint report from the state's Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Health and Department of Agriculture. His death was reported Sept. 13.
Of the remaining six cases of West Nile reported in the state, two are women living in Delaware County, two men are living in York County, one man lives in Montgomery County and one woman lives in Philadelphia, according to the DEP. Their ages and hometowns were not available.
About 1 in 150 people infected with the virus, which is carried by mosquitoes, will develop severe illness such as encephalitis or meningitis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The most serious symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
Most people who are infected with the virus will not show any symptoms.
So far this year, high numbers of mosquito samples came up positive in several counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Allegheny and Fayette counties are considered high-risk areas for West Nile, but many other counties are not in the state's surveillance program and the extent of West Nile in mosquitoes and animals is not measured.
Westmoreland, Beaver and Washington counties are considered areas of above-average risk.
The largest number of positive samples and efforts to control mosquito populations have been in Adams, Berks, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and York counties.
Jill Daly: email@example.com or 412-263-1596.