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Stanislaus County health officials said Wednesday that two people in the county have died from contracting the West Nile virus.

The men were both age 65. One patient succumbed July 27 and the other died on Tuesday.

County health said the men had the neuro-invasive form of the infection.

On Wednesday, the California Department of Public Health Wednesday confirmed the first two deaths in the state in 2014 from West Nile virus. They were a 74-year-old woman who lived in Sacramento County and an adult in Shasta County.

Humans contract the illness from the bite of a mosquito infected with West Nile virus.

To curb the spread of West Nile virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend:

- Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.

- When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.

- Try to avoid peak mosquito biting hours: dawn and dusk.

- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use your air conditioning, if you have it.

- Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

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