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DC Reports 1st West Nile Virus Death

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WASHINGTON (AP) — District of Columbia health officials are reporting the city’s first West Nile virus death.

Health officials also announced Wednesday that another district resident is hospitalized with the virus. The Washington Post reported that the number of cases in the Washington area is about the same as in previous years.

Maryland health officials reported the state’s first death from the virus last week. No deaths have been reported in Virginia.

Federal officials say cases nationwide are up sharply and may rival the record years of 2002 and 2003. Officials say an early spring and hot summer may be responsible. Mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected birds and then spread it to people they bite.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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