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Area death may have link to West Nile Virus


Health officials continue to urge residents to take precautions to avoid contact with the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus.

The notice follows the death of an elderly Erie County resident who had contracted the virus.

Erie County Health Commissioner Doctor Gail Burstein tells WBFO and AM970 that it's unclear if the virus was the cause of death since the individual suffered from other serious health issues.

While eight cases of West Nile have been confirmed in Erie County, it's possible more have occurred. One case was discovered when the person attempted to donate blood.

Residents are advised to take precautions. Long sleeves and long pants are encouraged while conducting outdoor activities, especially at night when mosquitoes tend to be most active.

Standing water should be cleared from properties; swimming pools should be properly chlorinated.

Dr. Burstein confirmed that 159 pools of water in Erie County have been found to contain the West Nile Virus.