BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- The West Nile virus probably killed another patient in North Dakota, but the virus' spread to horses appears to be slowing, officials said.
Preliminary tests found a Grand Forks County resident, who was older than 65, died of the virus, state health and city officials said Wednesday.
"At this point, it is still being called a probable West Nile death," said Grand Forks information officer Kevin Dean. Confirmation could take about three weeks, he said.
The patient was admitted to a hospital with a fever, chills and headache, the state Health Department said. Officials would not release the person's name or gender.
Ten human cases of the West Nile virus infection had been confirmed by the state Health Department as of Wednesday. The Grand Forks area death would be the second reported in the state from the virus, which can cause encephalitis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the brain.
The death of a Fargo man in his mid-70s was reported earlier this month.
Health officials emphasized Wednesday the chances of getting fatal mosquito-borne encephalitis are remote.
"This is a disease we've lived with for years," said Don Shields, the director of the Grand Forks Public Health Department.
The number of horse samples submitted to North Dakota State University for testing for the West Nile virus has decreased in the past few weeks, said state veterinarian Larry Schuler.
More than 500 horses have tested positive for the virus in North Dakota.
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