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First West Nile Fatality Identified

An Orange County man has been named as the first California resident to die from West Nile virus.

State health authorities had declined to identify the victim, but his family told the Los Angeles Times that 57-year-old James Damiano of Fullerton was the state´s first West Nile fatality.

Five more human cases have been confirmed in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

So far this year, 40 people have been stricken.

West Nile has been detected in 18 of the state´s 58 counties and in nearly a thousand birds.

Health officials are urging residents to protect themselves against mosquitos that could carry the disease and report dead birds that might have succumbed to it.