HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A New Haven woman over 75 was the first person to die of West Nile virus in Connecticut this year, state officials said Wednesday.

They did not identify the woman, the third person to die from the virus since it appeared in the state in 1999.

She was one of two people diagnosed this year with the mosquito-borne virus, which has been found in mosquitoes in 12 towns across the state. The other, a Bristol resident, recovered. Health officials said the woman, who was hospitalized earlier this month, spent considerable time outdoors gardening.

The first person to die from the virus in Connecticut was an East Haven woman in 2001. An elderly New Britain man died in 2005.

August and September are peak months for transmission of the virus to people. The symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting or a skin rash. Health officials recommend that people, especially those over 50, take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, such as wearing long sleeves and pants and using bug spray.

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