- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 17, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico health officials say a 72-year-old woman from Bernalillo County has died from the West Nile virus.

The Health Department says 20 cases have been confirmed in the state since the first human case was reported in early August. The patients have been from Dona Ana, Socorro, Sandoval, Valencia, San Juan, Taos and Bernalillo counties.

New Mexico has had cases of West Nile every year since the virus migrated to the state in 2003. There were seven cases in 2018 and 33 cases in 2017.

The virus is commonly spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are no vaccines to prevent it or medications to treat it.

Officials say most of the cases reported this year resulted in neuro-invasive disease, the most severe form of the disease.

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