A teenager sickened with the West Nile virus last month was the first confirmed case in Los Angeles County this year, public health officials said Friday.

The teenager fell ill in mid-July but has since recovered, officials said. In rare cases the virus, which is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites, can cause inflammation of the brain and death.

Los Angeles County health officials urged residents to drain pools of stagnant water, where mosquitoes can breed, and wear insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites, especially at dawn and dusk.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II

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