Mississippi reports third West Nile virus case in 2015
Health officials are using this opportunity to remind Mississippi residents that it is important to take proactive measures to prevent contracting West Nile virus. In 2014, Mississippi reported a total of 43 West Nile virus cases, and seven people died from the virus.
West Nile virus symptoms include headache, fever, a rash, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle weakness. Sometimes the virus causes meningitis (swelling of the brain) or encephalitis. These more serious conditions can result in paralysis, coma and death.
“Historically, this is the time of year when we see the number of West Nile virus cases begin to increase,” Thomas Dobbs, a state epidemiologist, said. “The majority of cases are usually reported in August and September – although West Nile Virus cases can occur any time of the year.”
To protect against mosquito-borne illnesses, people are advised to use a DEET mosquito repellent when they are outdoors. It is important to remove all standing water sources around homes and yards, as this will prevent mosquitos from breeding. Health officials also recommend that people wear light-colored, loose, long clothing that will cover the legs and arms any time people are outside.