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State has 10th W. Nile death

An 81-year-old woman from southeast Tulare County has become the 10th California resident to succumb to the West Nile virus, county health officials announced Thursday.

The woman had been hospitalized since being diagnosed with the virus.

"We are deeply saddened and extend our condolences to the family," said Dr. Danae Hansen, the Tulare County public health officer. Hansen refused to identify the victim.

The state on Tuesday reported a total of 618 human cases of the illness so far in 2005, and it confirmed that the peak of virus transmission appears to have passed for this season.