JACKSON, Miss.–If you have standing water around your house, get rid of it. If you’re going outside in the evenings without some kind of repellant with deet, don’t do it. That’s the best advice from the state Health Dept. to keep from getting West Nile. Seven more people were confirmed to have it Monday.
The new cases were reported in Copiah, Hinds (2), Madison, Rankin (2) and Yazoo counties, said a news release from the Health Dept.
Thirty-five people in Mississippi have it so far this year.
West Nile has been reported in Adams, Attala, Copiah, Covington, Forrest (2), Hinds (9), Lauderdale, Madison (5), Marion, Montgomery, Rankin (7), Simpson (2), Washington and Yazoo (2) counties. One person died in Attala County.
The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public. In 2014, Mississippi had 43 WNV cases and seven deaths.
Symptoms of WNV infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs reminds Mississippians that though the majority of WNV cases are reported in August and September, it is still important to protect yourself.
The MSDH suggests the following precautions to protect yourself and your environment from mosquito-borne illnesses:
- Use a recommended mosquito repellent that contains DEET while you are outdoors.
- Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding.
- Wear loose, light-colored, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.
For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com/westnile.