West Nile Virus Already Found in Shelby Co.

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(Memphis) The Shelby Co. Health Department confirms West Nile Virus has been found in seven zip codes around Shelby County, and it comes a week earlier than last year.

The virus has shown up in Memphis, Germantown, Collierville, and Bartlett.

Those in Vector Control fear we may see even more cases this year.

“Well right out of the gates, it looks like it’s not going to be a very good season,” said Ture Carlson with Memphis and Shelby County Vector Control.

He says expect a long summer with lots of mosquitoes and a lot of them carrying the West Nile Virus, “The way things are starting, 2012 started early but not this early and we're about a week ahead of them and we've had two more positive pools already."

Carlson believes the problem could be cyclical, “With the amount of activity that we had in 2011 and 2012, we had pretty high infection rates in the mosquitos, so this could be a residual from previous years.”

So far Carlson says there are no human cases in humans in Shelby County this year, but infection is on the rise.

In 2011 there were 12 cases. Last year there were 15.

Carlson hopes people will be more vigilant this year and know the dangers they face and where mosquitoes are found.

“It can be gutters, leaky faucets from outside spickets,” said Carlson. “Sometimes they become an issue. It can be a lot of little things that you don`t really think of that can become a problem down the road for you.”

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