Shelby County reports West Nile death

(AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)
(AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The Shelby County Health Department has confirmed the county’s only human death of 2016 from West Nile virus.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Hart said the person was a 67-year-old man. The agency reported a couple of weeks ago that he was suffering from the illness.

People can come down with West Nile virus after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Most human infections are mild. People over age 50 and those with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of severe disease and should try to avoid mosquito bites.

The Health Department treats standing water and sprays areas within the county. The agency advises people to work to control mosquito populations as well and to use insect repellent, dress in long sleeves and pants, stay inside at dusk and dawn, drain standing water and install window screens.

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