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First West Nile Death of '08

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The Orange County Health Care Agency has reported the first 2008 death in California resulting from the West Nile virus infection. The victim was a 72-year-old woman from Buena Park. Deanne Thompson, spokesperson for the agency told LAist that Southern California is seeing the biggeset increase in West Nile since 2004 when there were 62 cases in the OC alone. This year, the county has reported 26 cases not including "four asymptomatic dramatic blood donars." As to why there is an increase, officials do not know, but with recent home foreclosures and for other economic reasons, pools are not being used or maintained, therefore the still water is a perfect nesting ground for mosquitoes.