Year's First Human Case of West Nile Virus Confirmed in South Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Dept. of Health and Human Services says the state's first human case of West Nile virus of the year has been confirmed.  The case is in Cleveland County, in south-central Arkansas.

Last year, Arkansas had 29 human cases with four deaths and, in 2005, the state saw 28 human cases and three deaths.

The department says there have been no confirmed cases this year in birds or mosquitoes in the state.

Officials say fewer than one percent of people with West Nile virus become severely ill.  Some suffer flu-like symptoms for a day or two.  In rare cases, the illness can cause fatal brain swelling.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)