Local West Nile Virus Victim Dies

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Lauderdale County's first human case of West Nile virus has been reported.

The Mississippi Department of Health confirms the victim was a 39-year-old man living in central Lauderdale County. He died last week.

Test results received Tuesday confirmed he had West Nile virus, but health department epidemiologist, Dr. Sally Slavinski, said officials must confer with the local physician to determine if the virus was the cause of death.

It brought the number of cases this year in Mississippi to sixteen.

Slavinski said this time last year there were had 64 human cases and three deaths.

The mosquito-born West Nile virus has been reported in humans, birds, horses and mosquitoes in nineteen counties this year. At this time last year, 59 counties in Mississippi had reported some kind of West Nile virus activity.

Last year's West Nile virus outbreak in Mississippi resulted in 193 human cases and 12 deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.