Shelby County resident dies from West Nile virus

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A person has died due to West Nile virus, the Shelby County Health Department announced Wednesday.

This is the first human death from the virus in Shelby County, according to the health department.

SCHD did not provide any further details about the person who died.

Humans can get the virus from infected mosquitoes.

Most humans who contract it only show mild symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches for a few days. Older people and people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk for worse symptoms, including high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma or convulsions.

The SCHD Vector Control Program combats mosquitoes by applying larvicides to standing bodies of water in all zip codes and does truck-mounted spraying of EPA-approved insecticides in certain zip codes.

The health department encourages everyone to follow the “4 D’s” to prevent mosquito bites:

  • DEFEND yourself by using insect repellent. Follow label instructions.
  • DRESS in long sleeves/pants, loose and light colored clothing when outdoors.
  • DUSK/DAWN stay indoors during this time to avoid mosquitoes when they are most active.
  • DRAIN standing water and install or repair window screens.

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