N.J. reports first West Nile virus death

    New Jersey health officials are reporting the first death of a person from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus.

    They say a 77-year-old Willingboro man who tested positive for the virus died earlier this week. He developed fever, weakness and respiratory distress Aug. 20 and was hospitalized Aug. 26.
    To date the state has confirmed 15 cases of West Nile virus around New Jersey.

    More than 85 West Nile-related deaths have been reported nationwide this year.

    New Jersey health officials declined to provide the name of patient in order to protect the family’s privacy.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    Last year there were seven confirmed cases of West Nile virus in New Jersey, but no fatalities. In 2010 there were 30 cases, including two deaths.

    The elderly and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk of serious health complications.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal