Mississippi: West Nile virus total reaches 5 cases this year


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Mississippi Department of Health says two more people are confirmed to have West Nile virus, bringing the state’s total this year to five cases.

The department said Monday the new cases of the mosquito-borne illness are in Forrest County and Lamar County. Cases were reported in Smith, Hinds and Copiah counties in July.

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In 2018, Mississippi had 50 human cases of West Nile virus, with no deaths from it. In 2017, the state had 63 cases with two deaths.

The state epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Byers, says most cases occur between July and September.

Symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes.

Health officials urge people to reduce risk by using insect repellent, wearing long, light-colored clothes and eliminating standing water.

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