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First human case of West Nile virus found in Tennessee

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Health officials say this year’s first human case of West Nile virus in Tennessee has been reported in the state’s largest county.

The Shelby County Health Department said Thursday that the mosquito-borne illness has been found in an unidentified person. The person’s condition wasn’t released.

Officials said in June that the virus had been found in mosquitoes in the county. Crews have been treating mosquito breeding sites with insecticides and setting traps to capture and kill the insects.

The West Nile virus can occasionally cause severe disease or even death. But most human infections are mild and cause fever, headache and body aches that last a few days.

The case reported Thursday is the state’s first this year. Three people died of West Nile virus in 2018 in Shelby County.

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