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Riverside death lifts state's W. Nile toll to 6

A sixth Californian has succumbed to West Nile virus, health officials reported late Wednesday.

The victim was a 72-year-old man from Riverside County who had other serious health problems that may have weakened his immune system, according to a press release from the local Department of Public Health.

The man was the second person in Riverside County to die of complications of West Nile virus this year. The death of an 84-year-old was announced by the health department on July 26.

"We all must take West Nile virus infection very seriously and do everything we can to control mosquitoes and reduce our chances of being bitten by mosquitoes," Dr. Gary Feldman, the county health officer, said in the press release.

Also on Wednesday, the Yolo County Health Department confirmed a new human case of the mosquito-borne disease and said two more potential cases are under investigation.

"Although we are seeing human cases of West Nile virus this year, as predicted, and many people will not experience any illness, it is important to remember that some will develop varying symptoms," Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Bette Hinton said in a press release.

In addition, health officials in Glenn County announced that two residents there have tested positive for the virus, both males who have since recovered.

Jack Cavier, manager of the Glenn County Mosquito and Vector Control District, said the district will use state funds to begin ground spraying of insecticide in populated areas to slow the spread of the virus.

The most recent report by the state Department of Health Services, updated Tuesdays and Fridays, showed 208 human cases of the disease. Sacramento County, with 47 confirmed cases, leads the state in numbers of cases.

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