JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the state’s second human case of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2014. The reported case is in Newton County. In February, the MSDH reported a case in Hinds County.
The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public. In 2013, Mississippi had 45 WNV cases and five deaths.
“This is the second case of West Nile Virus in Mississippi this year. This serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of preventing mosquito exposures, particularly as we approach the historically active summer months,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
Mississippians should take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses year-round: remove sources of standing water, especially after rainfall; if you will be in mosquito-prone areas, wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) during peak times from dusk until dawn; and use a recommended mosquito repellent according to manufacturer’s directions.
Symptoms of WNV infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.
For more information on WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses, a checklist to reduce the mosquito population in and around homes, and recommended mosquito repellents, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com/westnile or call the WNV toll-free hotline from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-877-WST-NILE (1-877-978-6453).