SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department, along with the Tennessee Department of Health, this week has confirmed an additional human West Nile virus case in Shelby County.
It's the third one detected so far in 2022 in Shelby County and the state of Tennessee.
According to the health department, the 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 CDC, people over age 60 are the most likely to develop severe illness.
The SCHD recommends that all residents protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing, staying indoors during dusk and dawn, when mosquitos are most active, and using mosquito repellents that contain DEET.
The health department said the West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoes. SCHD monitors the presence of the virus in the county's mosquito populations each summer by trapping and testing mosquitos throughout the county for the virus. So, far the virus has been detected in mosquitos in the following Shelby County zip codes: 38128, 38053, 38114, 38111, 38118, 38016, 38122, 38134, 38117, 38107, 38112, 38108, 38018, 38133, 38106, 38115, 38109, 38127, 38104, 38002, 38119, 38028, 38141, 38105, 38126, 38017, 38138, 38116, 38120, 38125, 38139, and 38103.
Even if your zip code isn't listed, here's how you can protect yourself against mosquitos that can spread the West Nile virus:
- 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.
The Shelby County Health Department's Mosquito Control programs conducts mosquito control activities, including truck spraying to control the populations of mosquitos that carry the West Nile virus. You can find the spray schedule for the week of October 3 here.