October 8, 2012

Watauga man is 9th West Nile virus death in Tarrant County

Authorities say man, in his 40s, did not have underlying health conditions.

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A Watauga man in his 40s with no underlying medical conditions was the ninth West Nile virus-associated death in Tarrant County, health officials said Monday afternoon.

Tarrant County Public Health did not release the date that the death occurred or identify the victim.

Health officials have stressed that although people 50 and older are at higher risk of more severe West Nile infections, people of all ages are at risk.

"Disease and illness are unpredictable and people younger than 50 with no underlying medical conditions also have died," said Vanassa Joseph, a spokeswoman for the public health department.

The most recent victim was the youngest of the West Niles deaths reported this season to the health department, she said. The average age of victims has been 72.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus include flu-like illness, with moderate to high fever, headaches and join pain, fatigue, nausea and respiratory symptoms, health officials said. People with symptoms should go see their physicians.

Alex Branch, 817-390-7689

Twitter: @albranch1

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