West Nile Virus Sickens Boston Woman

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Boston health officials say a 46-year-old woman has become the first resident to test positive for West Nile Virus this year.

The city's Director of Infectious Diseases Bureau Dr. Anita Barry says the patient has improved and was released from hospital Friday. Officials withheld her identity, citing privacy laws.

The case was reported Tuesday as suspected meningitis. Laboratory results returned Friday confirmed West Nile, which caused the meningitis.

West Nile is spread by mosquitoes that often pick up the virus from birds they bite. Severe symptoms include neck stiffness, disorientation, coma and paralysis. Most cases occur in July through September.

Officials advise residents to use insect repellant when outdoors after dusk, ensure windrow and door screens are in good repair and eliminate standing water that act as breeding grounds for mosquitoes outside their homes.

This program aired on August 27, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.