FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Second West Nile case confirmed in Mississippi

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) announced on Monday that the second human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year had been confirmed.

The WNV case was confirmed in Newtown County. The first case was confirmed in Hinds County in February.

"This serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of preventing mosquito exposures, particularly as we approach the historically active summer months," Thomas Dobbs, an epidemiologist for MSDH, said.

MSDH urged Mississippians to take appropriate precautions against contracting WNV, including removing standing sources of water, wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants while in mosquito-prone areas and using an appropriate mosquito repellant according to the manufacturer's instructions.

In 2013, 45 WNV cases were confirmed in Mississippi residents, five of whom died.

A total of 2,469 cases of WNV infection in 48 states and the District of Columbia were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year, 119 of which resulted in death. More than half of the cases were classified as neuroinvasive.

WNV symptoms are often mild and can include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, rashes, muscle weakness and swollen lymph nodes. In some cases, WNV can lead to encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to coma, paralysis and death.