HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The first case of West Nile has been confirmed in Madison County. This is the first case of the virus in the area since 2008 and is the only confirmed case in North Alabama.
A 59-year-old Madison County man tested positive for the virus after being bitten by a mosquito while visiting Ft. Walton, Florida.
This brings the total to 18 cases state-wide.
"We know that we have West Nile in our birds here, and that's what the mosquitoes bite, the birds, and then bite people," said Debra Williams with the Madison County Health Department. "That's one of the reasons we do mosquito spraying is to keep the population down."
Two cases have been reported in Baldwin County, one in Jefferson County, six in Mobile County, seven in Montgomery County, one in Tuscaloosa County and one in Madison County.
One West Nile death was reported in Montgomery County this year.
Officials with the Center for Disease Control said they believe this will be the worst year for West Nile virus deaths and severe illnesses since the disease made an appearance in America in 1999.