LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Wednesday reported the first death due to West Nile virus for the 2020 season.

The patient, an elderly resident of the South Los Angeles area, was hospitalized and died from West Nile virus-associated neuro-invasive disease.

“West Nile virus continues to be a serious health threat to residents in Los Angeles County,” Dr. Muntu Davis, county health officer, said in a statement. “We encourage residents to check for items that can hold water and breed mosquitoes, both inside and outside their homes, and to cover, clean or clear out those items.”

Humans contract West Nile virus through the bite of an infected mosquito, though the health department noted that most mosquitoes do not carry the virus. Those who do contract the virus may experience mild symptoms including fever, muscle aches and tiredness.

A total of five cases have been documented in Los Angeles County this year — excluding Long Beach and Pasadena. Virus-infected mosquitoes, dead birds and sentinel chickens have been identified across L.A. County.

More information about West Nile virus in the county can be found on the health department’s website.

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