By Andrea Lucia & Ryan Crowe,

WATAUGA (CBSDFW.COM) – A Watauga man has become the 9th person to die from the West Nile Virus in Tarrant County this year.

Tarrant County Public Health said the man was in his 40s and had no underlying medical conditions prior to his death.

The man’s wife told CBS 11 he was 44-years-old and said he grew sick very suddenly, passing away last Wednesday, two months after being hospitalized.

A longtime employee for American Airlines, he would spend 8 to 12 hours a day working on the airport ramps at DFW, including early morning hours according to his family.  That is where they suspect an infected mosquito may have bitten him.

He leaves behind two children, two grandchildren, and his wife of 17 years.  He is also survived by both parents.

Urging the public to wear bug spray, his wife told CBS 11 even healthy men in their forties can get West Nile.

The death is the 34th in the immediate Dallas/Fort Worth area since the year began.  Most of the deceased have been elderly or had previous medical issues.

Tarrant County Public Health says everyone is at risk of being affected by West Nile, and should take proper preventative measures to ensure safety.


West Nile Virus symptoms include high fever and flu-like illnesses, including headache and joint pain.

UPDATE (10/8 – 5:15 p.m.) – Dallas County Health and Human Services says another person in their county died Monday from West Nile Virus.  The person, who was not identified, lived in Addison.  Monday’s death brings the total number of deaths in Dallas County to 18, and the total number in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to 35.

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