Barbara Edelston Yaroslavsky Dies After Contracting West Nile

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Barbara Edelston Yaroslavsky

Barbara Edelston Yaroslavsky, wife of longtime LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, died in late December. Yaroslavsky, 71, was herself a longtime community leader, activist and volunteer, according to the LA Times. She died on December 26, 2018.

“Yaroslavsky was recovering from a severe West Nile virus infection when she collapsed during a therapy session,” the Times reported. “She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.”

She was remembered in a statement by current Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, which was sent out on Jan. 5 of this year: “It is with a broken heart that I report that the incomparable Barbara Yaroslavsky passed away over the holiday break. My heart and deepest sympathies go out to Zev and the entire family at this incredibly difficult time.

“Barbara was an amazing, talented, funny, fierce, and bright woman who cared passionately about all of life’s most important things,” the statement said. “We will miss her so much. May her memory be a blessing.”

Yaroslavsky’s family also released a statement following her death.

“We are shocked and devastated by this turn of events,” her family said in a statement shared with local media. “We have lost an exceptional mother, a loving grandmother, and a beloved wife and partner in life. There are no words to describe what we are feeling at this moment, but our loss is profound and the void in our lives is immeasurable.”

West Nile Virus was found to have infected humans in 48 states last year (every state except Hawaii and New Hampshire) and Washington DC. In California, 204 people contracted the virus and eight died, according to information from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Zev Yaroslavsky served as a county supervisor from 1994-2014, representing the west side of LA County including Malibu.