West Nile found in Miller County resident

Mosquito larvae caught by a Dougherty County Public Works employee. / File

The Southwest Public Health District has announced that suspected human case of West Nile virus is being investigated in Miller County and a horse has been confirmed with the mosquito-borne infection.

"Our sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the patient," said Miller County Health Department Manager Darleen Cox in a press release.

She emphasized that the HIPAA Privacy Rule - part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - prohibits Public Health from providing information that would identify patients.

The Southwest Public Health District also stated that last season four human cases of West Nile virus - none of which were associated with fatalities - were reported in the district. So far this season, three West Nile virus-related deaths have been confirmed in the District, said District Epidemiologist Jacqueline Jenkins.

"The cases are showing up throughout the District rather than clustering in a single area", Jenkins added. The breakout for confirmed human cases is: seven cases in Dougherty, one in Lee, one in Worth, one in Mitchell and one in Early counties."In addition, we have had two horses confirmed with West Nile virus, one in Worth County and one in Miller County, and one horse confirmed with another mosquito-borne illness, EEE, or Eastern Equine Encephalitis, in Thomas County," Jenkins said.

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