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Chicago Fire Department lieutenant dies from West Nile Virus

Updated: October 4, 2012 7:50PM

A Chicago Fire Department lieutenant became a victim of West Nile Virus Thursday night, two weeks after he was bitten by a mosquito in Wisconsin.

Lt. Thomas Flahive of Engine Co. 108 died from the virus. He was 58.

Flahive contracted the virus during a family trip to Wisconsin, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said.

After being bit, the lieutenant started suffering from flu-like symptoms and went for treatment, Langford said.

The lieutenant was diagnosed with West Nile Virus and later went into a coma and suffered irreversible brain damage, Langford said.

Before his death, six people in Illinois died from the mosquito-borne virus in 2012. There have been 179 people with confirmed cases, according to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.

Flahive joined the fire department in November 1989 and had been working at Engine Co. 108 in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.

He leaves behind his wife, Mary Faith, and three adult children, Langford said. The family is donating party of the lieutenant’s body for researching the virus.

Chicago Fire Department Chaplain Fr. Thomas Mulchrone said in a statement that Flahive continues to give for others after death.

Services are pending.

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