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State’s first West Nile case of year in Forrest County

(AP) — The Mississippi State Department of Health reports that the first human case of West Nile virus this year is in Forrest County.

The state epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Byers, in a news release Friday notes that people throughout the state are at risk of the disease and should be protecting themselves against mosquito bites.

The department reports only laboratory-confirmed cases to the public. In 2016, Mississippi had 43 cases of West Nile virus, including two deaths.

Most people infected with the virus never show any symptoms. Some develop a flu-like disease. A few come down with encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and even death.