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West Nile Virus Kills Popular Lodi Little League Coach, 62

Fred J. Maikisch
Fred J. Maikisch Photo Credit: FACEBOOK

A popular longtime Little League baseball coach from Lodi died of the West Nile virus over the weekend -- the first in New Jersey this year.

Fred J. Maikisch, 62, was diagnosed a little over a week earlier, loved ones said.

He remained on a respirator in intensive care, but the virus “caused such severe damage” to his vital organsthat there was “no hope for recovery,” his sister-in-law said.

He died Saturday.

Maikisch, an IKEA salesman who was married with two children, was a member of the Lodi Old Timers Association and a Lodi Little League coach for more than 20 years.

He also was such a devout New York Giants fan that the family has told mourners to “feel free to wear your Giants blue to honor his memory.”

A Funeral Mass was scheduled at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Francis de Sales RC Church at 125 Union Street in Lodi. Private cremation will follow.

Visiting hours are from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Santangelo Funeral Home, 300 Main Street in Lodi. Donations may be made in Lieu of flowers to the charity of your choice.

The state Health Department later officially confirmed that Maikisch had the virus.

The department also confirmed six cases of West Nile virus infection in New Jersey -- the most of any county in the state -- without specifying who or where.

Of 767 mosquito pools tested positive for the virus, 103 were from Bergen County – also the highest number in all of New Jersey, the department reported.

In response to this story, a Nixle alert from the borough to residents said Lodi’s mayor and council “are aware of a story concerning the passing of a resident as reported the Garfield-Lodi Daily Voice online today.

“We are always concerned about the health, safety and welfare of all our residents,” the 3:32 p.m. alert says. “We have been in touch with the Bergen County Department of Health[,] as well as the Bergen County Mosquito Control Commission since the story appeared on social media and are awaiting the facts for verification concerning this very unfortunate incident.

“We will issue another statement as soon as further information is available.”

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