JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2015. The reported case is an adult in Hinds County.
The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public. In 2014, Mississippi had 43 WNV cases and seven deaths.
“While WNV can occur any time of the year, we see the bulk of our cases during peak season, which is July through September. So this is the time of year to be extremely vigilant when going outdoors,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
In previous years, WNV has been reported from all parts of the state. All Mississippians are potentially at risk – not just the areas where cases are reported.
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.
The MSDH suggests the following precautions to protect yourself and your environment from mosquito-borne illnesses:
- Use a recommended mosquito repellent that contains DEET while you are outdoors.
- Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding.
- Wear loose, light-colored, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.
- Please see www.HealthyMS.com/westnile for more information.
For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com.
Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.
Press Contact: MSDH Office of Communications, (601) 576-7667
Note to media: After hours or during emergencies, call 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948)