LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officials say West Nile virus is spreading in birds and mosquitoes in Los Angeles County, with recent cases found in the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley and elsewhere.

The news comes as state and Fresno County public health officials report the state’s first death this year blamed on complications from the virus.

David Luchini, manager of Fresno County’s communicable disease division, told The Fresno Bee that an elderly woman died in the past week. He could not give other information, citing privacy laws.

The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District says two dead virus-infected birds were discovered in Hacienda Heights and Winnetka, while two infected mosquito samples were collected from Woodland Hills and Pico Rivera.

The Los Angeles Times reports that since August West Nile virus has been found in over a dozen cities in LA County.

Statewide, there have been 45 human cases of the potentially deadly virus so far this year.

Mosquito bites are the most common route of infection.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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