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Mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus

The first human case of West Nile virus this year has been confirmed in Manitoba.The Winnipeg man, in his 60s, is in hospital.

Health officials say he is known to have spent time in the rural municipality of St. Clements, where he was probably exposed to the mosquito-borne virus.

Mosquitoes with West Nile virus have been found this year in several communities across Manitoba, informs Globe and Mail.

According to Seattle Post, Raul Cuevas, who died Aug. 12 from encephalitis caused by the mosquito-born illness, also had heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, said Dr. Laurene Mascola of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

Cuevas likely was bitten by a mosquito near his home in the eastern portion of Los Angeles County. More than 70 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in the county and nearly 200 cases have been reported in the state, according to state and local health authorities.

In California, the deaths began in June with one in Orange County. The others were in Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Bernardino County. So far, the youngest person infected was a 57-year-old Fullerton man.

West Nile has been detected in 41 of 58 counties in California. Authorities, however, believe it is present throughout the state and that more cases are likely from now until the fall.

West Nile is carried by birds but only transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. About 20 percent of those bitten by an infected insect show flu-like symptoms, while about one in 100 suffer the most severe form of the illness.

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