Georgia officials confirm first West Nile infection of 2019

Health officials say an elderly man in southwest Georgia has been hospitalized with West Nile virus in the state's first confirmed human infection of 2019.

WALB-TV reports the man lives in Mitchell County. Epidemiologist Jaqueline Jenkins of Georgia's Southwest Health District says the hospitalized man also has underlying health conditions.

Georgia Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said Friday it's the first human case of West Nile confirmed statewide this year. She says 36 West Nile infections and two deaths were reported in Georgia last year.

West Nile virus is passed to humans by infected mosquitoes. Most people infected show no symptoms, while others suffer headaches, fever and fatigue. In rare cases West Nile can be deadly.

The elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are most at risk.