SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Mississippi reports first human case of West Nile virus for 2015

Mississippi confirms first human case of West Nile virus for 2015 | Courtesy of wikipedia.org
Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) officials confirmed Monday the state's first human case of West Nile virus for 2015.

The suspected case in Hinds County was confirmed by laboratories. 

In 2014, the state had 43 West Nile virus cases; seven people died in Mississippi from the illness.

In the past, West Nile virus cases had been confirmed from several parts of Mississippi. This means that all Mississippi residents are at risk for the virus, not just residents living in areas where West Nile virus cases have been reported.

Virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache, rash, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes and muscle weakness. Some infections have resulted in meningitis (which can cause coma, paralysis and even death) or encephalitis.

The MSDH has recommended that people use common sense to avoid contracting the illness. A DEET mosquito repellent is recommended for outdoor activities, and removing standing water will help prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

“While (West Nile virus) can occur any time of the year, we see the bulk of our cases during peak season, which is July through September,” MSDH State Epidemiologist Thomas Dobbs said. “So this is the time of year to be extremely vigilant when going outdoors.”

Organizations in this story

Mississippi State Department of Health 570 E Woodrow Wilson Ave Jackson, MS 39216

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