According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, an 80-year-old Montana resident has passed away because of a virus infection. West Nile Virus Program Manager Christine Mulgrew explains.

“We are saddened to report that a Montana resident has passed away after complications from a West Nile virus,” said Mulgrew. “West Nile virus itself, in very rare instances, can lead to complications.”

Mulgrew says it is likely that the resident contracted the virus in Montana because he or she did not travel outside of the state in the last month.

“This is the first one in 2016 and the last death that we had was in 2014," Mulgrew said. "Usually the number of cases in the state has been ten or less. Given that this is such a rare occurrence, it is not likely that we would have very many deaths.”

Currently, six people in Montana are diagnosed with the West Nile virus.