Kenmore woman dies after battle with West Nile virus


A local family mourns the loss of their loved one who died from complications from the West Nile Virus. 

Jennifer Zoratti, 45, a mother of three from Kenmore  was infected with the West Nile virus in August of last year. 

Her family says she was in the hospital from August to January battling the illness. She was released and January and for a while she was able to live life as usual.

“When she did get out she was excited to see her kids she was excited to spend time with her dogs, just excited to be back home,” said her brother in law Kurt Odell. 

Then, about a week ago, Zoratti began to have complications and was admitted to Buffalo General Hospital. She later died on Friday. 

“Just last week she was at her son’s baseball game watching him play baseball, she was getting a little bit better, she continued to have issues,” said Odell. “It’s still shocking that she passed so suddenly.”

According to data provided by the Erie County Department of Health instances of West Nile in the county are very rare. In 2012 there were 12 reported cases. There were 3 cases in 2011 and just 1 and 2017 and last year to reported cases.

Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein says mosquito pools are tested at various locations around the county to detect the virus.

“Last year, at this time we had four positive mosquito pools in Erie County from our surveillance testing,” she said. “We can’t assume that it’s not here, we have to assume that it’s here and we may be seeing cases later this month.”

The commissioner says cases usually pop-up in the month of August, because of increased activity of mosquitoes. She says only 1 in 150 people develop complications from the West Nile virus.

Jennifer Zoratti’s family has set up a fund for her children. Information on that can be found at the following.

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