Oct 15, 2009 11:25 AM by Associated Press
The Washington state Department of Health has confirmed that state's first death due to West Nile virus.
Tests results from the Washington state Public Health Laboratories and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the cause of death.
The Yakima Herald-Republic newspaper reported that 71-year-old Ruth Rosalee Rogers of Sunnyside died Sept. 19 at a Yakima hospital.
Her husband says doctors told him his wife died of the West Nile virus. Howard Rogers says his wife became ill after returning from a trip to Denver on Sept. 1.
Health officials say 31 other West Nile infection cases have been reported in Washington state this year.
That's up from three cases in 2008. The disease is spread by mosquitoes and also infects birds and horses.