FARMINGTON – Farmington officials say a city resident has died of the West Nile virus, making him the first human fatality of the mosquito-borne disease in the state this year.
Officials say it’s not known how the 61-year-old man contracted the virus. The city says it has an aggressive mosquito-control program that includes treatment of standing water and weekly spraying at night.
New Mexico Department of Health officials say four Bernalillo County residents have tested positive for the virus and have been hospitalized. That brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases of West Nile in New Mexico this year to seven.
The four recent cases in Bernalillo County include a 65-year-old woman currently hospitalized as well as a 57-year-old man, a 60-year-old man, and a 75-year-old man.
Health officials say all four have been treated and recently released from hospitals.
West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and can sometimes be fatal.
New Mexico had six West Nile cases last year and one death.