(WTVM) - News Leader 9 wants to emphasize to our viewers to protect themselves against mosquitoes.
Three people in southwest Georgia have died in recently from West Nile virus and are the first fatalities in the state this year.
Seven cases have been confirmed in Dougherty County and one in Muscogee County. Other areas in Georgia with cases include Lee, Early, Mitchell and Worth counties.
Two of the deaths were in Dougherty and one in Early County.
"We are the only area in the state right now with deaths," said Dr. Jacqueline Grant, director at Southwest District Health. "Our condolences certainly go out to those families. It's just heartbreaking to hear that you have deaths associated with mosquito bites."
Health officials say the three people who died from the virus were older adults.