MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Shelby County Health Department has confirmed two more human cases of the West Nile Virus, making 12 cases so far this year.
The two recently confirmed cases involve a 57-year-old man and a 37-year-old man. Of the 12 cases reported in 2012, none have resulted in death. Other recent cases include a 71-year-old female, a 53-year-old female, a 46-year-old male and a 56-year-old male. Earlier cases have ranged in ages from 27 to 69 years old.
This makes the most cases of West Nile Virus reported in the county since 2006 when there were 14 human cases, according to health department records.
Dr. Dan Springer with the Shelby County Vector Control says the majority of people infected by the virus never develop any symptoms or know they have it. A mild case of West Nile can cause flu-like symptoms and a skin rash. But a severe case can cause convulsions, vision loss, numbness, paralysis, coma and even death. The symptoms can last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms.
Health officials urge the continued use of insect repellants containing DEET, and to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs.