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La Salle County man confirmed as first West Nile death in Grundy County

MORRIS – The Grundy County Coroner confirmed Thursday morning the first West Nile Encephalomyelitis death in Grundy County.

"The death occurred Aug.25 at the Morris Hospital," coroner John Callahan said in a press release. "The age of the man is 85 and he is a resident of La Salle County. It is unknown where the actual virus was contracted."

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. There are currently 22 confirmed cases around the state, according to the state health department. During 2017, there were 90 human West Nile virus cases, including eight deaths.

Callahan said people should follow the recommended precautions against the virus such as using appropriate mosquito spray or wearing long sleeves while being outdoors.