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County health officials confirmed the first West Nile virus death in Los Angeles County on Wednesday, the latest in a handful of deaths related to the illness in the state this season.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said the patient, a resident of the San Fernando Valley area, was hospitalized in early September and died from a neuro-invasive disease.

There have been 38 documented cases of West Nile virus among humans in Los Angeles County this year, officials said. That figure excludes Long Beach and Pasadena because cases in those cities are reported by their local health departments, authorities said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this person’s family and friends during this sad time. This should remind all of us that West Nile virus is a serious disease,” Muntu Davis, a county health officer, said in a statement.

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