First case of West Nile Virus reported in Smith County

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SMITH COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – The first case of West Nile Virus in Mississippi has been reported for this year.

The Mississippi Department of Health announced Thursday the first case had been found in Smith County.

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In 2018, there were 50 cases of West Nile Virus reported, but no deaths.

Symptoms of the infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. Sometimes the infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.

The MSDH suggested tips to protect yourself from the infection including:

  • Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient such as DEET while you are outdoors.
  • Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • Wear loose, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.
  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

Most cases of the infection are reported from July to September.

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