Two new cases of  West Nile virus in Ocean County includes the county's first death related to the disease during the current season.

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County health officials say the fatality is an elderly patient who coped with other conditions besides the mosquito-borne ailment. They did not disclose the community in which the patient lived, or the date of death.

The new reported cases bring Ocean County's total this season to seven, the most in New Jersey. The death is the second reported one this season, following one several weeks ago in Burlington County.

Health officials stress that cooler temperatures of autumn don't mean that the West Nile threat is about to recede. They warn that mosquitos still have ample time to breed in standing water, and they again urge homeowners to clear any that may be on their properties, such as unused tires, pet dishes, birdbaths and clogged gutters.

They also advise using insect repellent containing DEET on skin and clothes, limiting outdoor activity around dawn and dusk, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants outside, and double-checking screens for openings that invite mosquitos.

Infected mosquitos feed on birds. If you see a dead bird with no obvious signs of trauma, call the Ocean County Health Department in Toms River, 732-341-9700.

See a complete rundown of precautions, symptoms and treatments at