By The Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Department of Health has reported the first West Nile virus death in the state for 2012.
The death was in Smith County. The department also reported on Friday that there are eight new human cases. Those were in Leflore, Rankin, Smith, Stone and Sunflower counties. The new cases bring the state total for 2012 to 19 cases and one death.
So far this year, cases have been reported in 16 counties.
In 2011, Mississippi had 52 cases and five deaths from West Nile virus.
Health officials say residents should take precautions like removing sources of standing water where mosquitoes breed and to wear long pants and sleeves in mosquito-prone areas during peak times from dusk until dawn. Mosquito repellent is also recommended.