Sixth Tarrant County death attributed to West Nile virus

West Nile virus has claimed the life of a sixth Tarrant County resident, a Fort Worth man in his late 70s, county public health officials reported Tuesday.

In Dallas County, a Grand Prairie man in his 60s has died of West Nile-related illness, the county's 15th fatality, according to WFAA/Channel 8.

The Tarrant County man had underlying health conditions, said Vanassa Joseph, the public health spokeswoman. The previous five Tarrant County fatalities were of similar age and health.

No specific information is available on any of the victims because of federal medical privacy laws.

"We continue to remind people that everyone is at risk," Joseph said. "But what we've seen is a trend in people 50 or older with underlying health issues who are at risk of developing a severe West Nile infection."

The state death toll this year is now at least 50.

Health officials say symptoms include flu-like illness, with moderate-to-high fevers (about 102 or more), strong headaches, severe muscle aches or joint pains, eye pain, mental changes, fatigue, nausea and respiratory symptoms. People with these symptoms should check with their physicians, the officials said.

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Bill Miller, 817-390-7684

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