A southeast Nebraska man has died of West Nile virus, making him the first person in the state to die of the illness this year.
Public health officials confirmed Friday that John Schintzel, of Crete, was the first Nebraskan to die of the virus in 2013.
The 51-year-old Schintzel died Sept. 21.
Throughout the state 86 people have tested positive for the virus this year.
Schintzel's wife, Jennifer Hroch, says her husband began getting sick Sept. 6. He later was hospitalized in Lincoln.
West Nile is transmitted to people through mosquitoes that feed on an infected bird. Most infected people have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms. A small percentage develops a serious illness.
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