August 19, 2004
GRAND JUNCTION — A 78-year-old woman has become the second person to die of complications from West Nile virus this season, Colorado health officials said Tuesday. The Grand Junction resident, who died last week, suffered from meningoencephalitis and inflammation of the brain and surrounding tissue, Mesa County health officials said. Her name was not released. Both virus victims lived in Mesa County, said a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Colorado has reported 136 cases of West Nile this season, with 79 of them in Mesa County. Larimer County has the second most cases, 11. For most people, the virus brings slight flu-like symptoms that may go unnoticed. In the worst cases, it can cause encephalitis, paralysis or death.