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First West Nile death was in Jackson County, not St. Louis

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — State health officials say the first West Nile death in Missouri this year was in Jackson County, not St. Louis.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Wednesday it mistakenly reported last week that the first West Nile death his year was in the eastern area of the state.

Director Randall Williams said miscommunication within the department’s chain of command caused the error. He says changes are being made to prevent it from happening again.

The Kansas City Star reports 12 cases of West Nile illness have been reported so far this year in Missouri. Ten occurred in St. Louis City or St. Louis County, one was in Jackson County and one was in Boone County.

The person who died in Jackson County contracted the illness in August.