JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports two new human case of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2013. The reported cases are in LeFlore and Marion counties, bringing the state total for 2013 to 12 cases, with one death. It has now been determined that two previous cases, including one death, were not caused by West Nile virus. These redefined cases were in Forrest and Montgomery counties.
So far this year, cases have been reported in Forrest, Lamar, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Wayne, LeFlore (2), Bolivar, Hinds, Rankin and Marion counties. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.
In 2012, Mississippi had 247 WNV cases and five deaths.
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; and 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).