2nd person in NM dies of West Nile virus

Posted at: 09/06/2013 2:12 PM
Updated at: 09/06/2013 2:21 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

A second New Mexican has died of West Nile this year, the department of health announced on Friday.

According to the department, the 84-year-old woman from San Juan County developed encephalitis, the more severe clinical form of the disease.

An 83-year-old man from Curry County died from the same infection last month. It was the first West Nile fatality reported in the state in 2013.

"West Nile Virus infection can potentially lead to serious complications in anyone who gets infected," secretary of health Retta Ward said. "That's especially true for people older than 60, so with September being one of the peak months for West Nile cases in New Mexico, we're asking everyone to be mindful of the risks and take the necessary precautions."

West Nile cases have also been confirmed in a 57-year-old man from Chaves County, who was hospitalized with severe neurologic disease, and a woman from De Baca County, who had the less severe West Nile fever and was not hospitalized.

Two horses from Lea County have also been confirmed with West Nile Virus infection. Both have recovered.