Okla. has 3rd death of year due to West Nile

Posted at 3:10 PM, Sep 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-17 16:10:53-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma State Department of Health is reporting the third West Nile virus death of 2015 in the state.

The department says the latest death was a Rogers County resident. Previous deaths were reported in Stephens and Carter counties. According to Larry Bergner, the regional director for the Oklahoma Department of Health the victim was in the 65 and older age group. 

Bergner said other underlying health issues played a factor in the victim's death.

There have been a total of 42 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Oklahoma this year -- up from 18 in 2014 when there were no deaths due to the virus.

Both the greatest number of cases and deaths in Oklahoma due to the virus was in 2012 when there were 176 cases with 15 resulting in death.

The virus is spread primarily through the bite of the Culex mosquito -- which increases in numbers during mid to late summer when temperatures rise and the weather is dry.