NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee health officials say the state has recorded its first West Nile virus death this year.
State health department spokeswoman Shelley L. Walker said 29 human cases have been documented in 2012.
Nashville Public Health Department spokesman Brian Todd said Tuesday that the virus claimed the life of a 70-year-old man who had other health issues.
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. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms.
Todd said West Nile is unusual in Nashville. There were no cases 2009-2011 and only seven in the last decade.
As of Oct. 2, a total of 3,969 cases of West Nile virus in people had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases were reported by California, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.
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