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Newton Man Diagnosed With West Nile Virus

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BOSTON (CBS) – Health officials in Newton say a 51-year-old man with an underlying medical condition is now in the hospital with West Nile Virus.

It’s the state’s first human West Nile case this year and the second case of mosquito-born illness. Monday, 80-year-old Martin Newfield, who’s from Raynham, died from Triple E.

The patient developed symptoms on September 1 and was hospitalized on the same day. His condition is improving, but is still serious.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports

Experts say West Nile is usually a much less serious illness, but can be dangerous when victims are elderly or already sick. “The symptoms of West Nile are pretty nonspecific, fever, aches…” says Newton Health Commissioner Dr. Dori Zaleznik. “The things that should worry people are the persistent headaches, maybe a little confusion or inability to speak or think properly.”

She has warned coaches and school officials in Newton to take precautions with clothing and mosquito repellent spray during after-school activities.

Also, a 21-year-old horse from Belchertown tested positive for WNV. The horse became ill on September 3rd, and was euthanized three days later when his condition deteriorated. This was the first WNV case in a horse this year.

The Department of Public Health also confirmed on Friday that mosquitoes tested positive for WNV in Lawrence.

In 2010 there was seven human cases of WNV in Massachusetts.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager contributed to this report

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