First human West Nile case of 2023 confirmed in Shelby County

Mosquito(Katja Schulz / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 2:40 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A person in Shelby County is confirmed as the first case of West Nile virus of 2023.

The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD), along with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) confirmed the first human case of West Nile--it’s also the first in Tennessee for 2023.

The virus has so far been detected in mosquitoes in 28 Shelby County zip codes, including: 38002, 38016, 38017, 38018, 38028, 38053, 38104, 38106, 38107, 38108, 38109, 38111, 38112, 38114, 38115, 38116, 38117, 38118, 38119, 38122, 38125, 38126, 38127, 38128, 38133, 38134, 38135, and 38138.

West Nile virus can cause serious illness that leads to hospitalization or death. However, most cases cause no symptoms and go undetected.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people over age 60 are the most likely to develop severe illness. The Shelby County Health Department recommends that all residents protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing, staying indoors during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, and using mosquito repellents that contain DEET.

West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoes.

SCHD recommends these tips to avoid mosquitoes:

  • DEFEND yourself by using insect repellent with DEET. Follow label instructions.
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants. Wear loose and light-colored clothing when outdoors.
  • DUSK/DAWN is the time when mosquitoes are most active. Stay indoors.
  • DRAIN standing water and install or repair window screens.

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