The Tennessee Health Department has announced the first death in Tennessee due to the West Nile virus since 2009.

The Shelby County Health Department said the victim was an adult male resident of Shelby County but did not release any other details Wednesday. In Tennessee this year, 14 people have been infected by the virus. 9 of those were reported in Shelby County.

Most human cases are mild, but severe symptoms can include a high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma or convulsions.

The virus is spread by mosquito bites, and the insect's populations are at their peak May through October, the health department said.

Health officials encouraged the public to use mosquito repellents and remove areas of standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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