JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports seven new human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the last week, bringing the state total to 10 for 2017. The reported cases are in Covington, Hinds (3), Humphreys, Leflore and Perry counties.
So far this year cases have been reported in Covington, Forrest (2), Hinds (3), Humphreys, Leflore, Perry and Rankin counties. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public. In 2016, Mississippi had 43 WNV cases and two deaths.
“We are now in peak season for West Nile virus in Mississippi, and even if there has not been a reported human case in your county, our surveillance has shown that mosquitoes that carry the virus are active in all parts of the state,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.
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 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, light-colored, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.
For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the MSDH website at HealthyMS.com/westnile.
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)