Fifteen people out of the 444 infected with the mosquito-borne West Nile virus in the U.S. had died this year as of early Tuesday, slightly ahead of last year's pace, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.
On Friday, public health officials in California reported that a San Fernando Valley man with the virus had died this month. They were unsure whether the virus was to blame.
Last year at this time, there had been 13 deaths among the 388 infected. In all of 2006, 4,269 cases were reported, 177 fatal.