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State reports five new casesPosted at 9:40 August 20

State reports five new casesPosted at 9:40 August 20


HELENA (AP) - State health officials on Wednesday reported five new cases of the West Nile virus in humans, bringing the total number for the year to 11.

The cases were reported in Big Horn, Prairie, Roosevelt, Rosebud and Sheridan counties.

Ken Pekoc, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Health and Human Services, said officials had no other information available on the latest victims.

West Nile is transmitted by mosquito bites and can cause head and body aches, fever and skin rashes. In rare instances, it can cause brain swelling and death.

Health officials say people can guard against mosquito bites by applying insect repellant and avoiding outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active.

Montana's first case of West Nile was confirmed in August 2002 in a Yellowstone County horse

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