March 16, 2014
Health officials in Fairfax County are concerned after Virginia's first reported case of West Nile virus this year turned up there.
A 72-year-old man from the Springfield area has been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease. Officials are concerned because the virus has arrived earlier than usual.
Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Fairfax County's health director, says the case is an important reminder that the virus is still a threat. Officials have not identified the sick man.
Humans contract West Nile if they're bitten by an infected mosquito. Elderly people and people with weak immune systems are especially vulnerable, but the virus is treatable if caught early.
There were five reported cases of West Nile in humans last year, all in northern Virginia.