Mississippi reports new case of West Nile virus

Mississippi health officials reported on Tuesday that one new human case of West Nile virus has been found.

The new case comes from Lincoln county and brings the total number of state WNV cases this year to 7, with one death. In 2012 a total of 247 WNV cases were reported, with five deaths.

West Nile virus is an arbovirus that comes from the genus Flavivirus and is transmitted by mosquitos. This kind of virus is usually found in temperate and tropic regions. The first identified case of WNV occurred in Uganda in 1937.

Most cases of WNV are found in birds, but humans can also be infected. Approximately 80 percent of human cases are subclinical and cause no symptoms; fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain and vomiting can occur when symptoms are present. Less than one percent of cases are severe and may lead to neurological disease.

Mississippi health officials are urging Mississippians to take the appropriate set of precautions. Health officials are asking all residents to remove standing water from their property, especially after rainfall, and to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants during the dusk and dawn and when in mosquito-prone areas. Health officials also recommend using mosquito repellent when appropriate.