THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Mississippi reports new case of West Nile Virus

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported on June 19 a new confirmed case of West Nile Virus in a human.

West Nile Virus is an arbovirus that comes from mosquitos and is in the genus Flavivirus. This kind of virus is usually found in temperate and tropic regions, with the first identified case coming from Uganda in 1937.

Most cases of WNV are found in birds, but humans can be infected as well. Most human cases, about 80 percent, are subclinical and cause no symptoms. Fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain and vomiting are symptoms of WNV. Severe cases can result in neurological disease, but less than one percent of cases are severe.

This is the second case of WNV in Mississippi this year. The first case was reported in April in Forrest County.

2012 saw a record number of WNV cases in Mississippi. There were 247 cases reported and five deaths.

"While we can't predict what this year's WNV numbers will look like, we do know we are now entering our high-risk WNV season, as we typically see more human cases in July, August and September than in other months," MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs, said. "We encourage all residents throughout the state to take precautions to prevent infection."