Alabama has recorded 12 cases of West Nile virus this summer, with one death so far. State Health Officer Don Williamson said Friday that Alabama is ahead of where it was at the same time in 2008, when 18 cases were diagnosed. 2009 saw no cases, and 2010 had three. Six of the cases this summer have been in Montgomery County, and that's where the fatality occurred with a man over 60 years old. Three cases were in Mobile County, and one each in Baldwin, Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say a half-dozen people in Alabama have been diagnosed with the West Nile virus this year. Alabama public health officials tell The Tuscaloosa News (http://bit.ly/NLpY5v ) that it's the highest number of cases in the state in three years. The virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, causes symptoms such as fever, body aches, joint paints, vomiting, diarrhea or rash in about one out of every five people who are infected. Authorities say most people infected with the mosquito-borne virus won't get sick.
A warmer winter in Alabama means an early mosquito season. While the biting bugs can spoil your outdoor summer events, they can also pose a serious health threat. Dee Jones is the state public health veterinarian. He says illnesses like West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis tend to effect particular groups of people.