SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Mississippi Health Department announces two new cases of West Nile virus

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported two new cases of West Nile virus on Wednesday, bringing the total state cases of WNV this year to 12.

The two new cases were reported in LeFlore and Marion counties. The MSDH also announced two cases of WNV infection from Forrest and Montgomery counties, resulting in one death, were actually found to be a different infection than WNV.

The Mississippi counties with cases of WNV this year include Forrest, Lamar, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Wayne, LeFlore, Bolivar, Marion, Hinds and Rankin. Only laboratory-confirmed cases are reported to the public. Although there have only been 12 cases so far this year, there were 247 cases last year that resulted in five deaths; the MSDH is urging people to take precautions.

The MSDH is urging people to reduce the risk of getting bit by mosquitoes. Some recommended practices include wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants between dusk and dawn, when mosquito prevalence is at its peak, wearing bug repellant and minimizing standing water.

A WNV infection can be detected by any of the following symptoms: fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rashes, fatigue or swollen lymph nodes. In severe cases, WNV can cause encephalitis and meningitis, which can cause paralysis, coma and in extreme cases, death.