JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has confirmed four more people have been diagnosed with the West Nile virus (WNV) for 2013.
The cases were reported in Forrest, Harrison, Hinds and Madison counties, bringing the state total for 2013 to 39 human cases, including two deaths.
So far this year, cases have been reported in Adams, Bolivar, Forrest (5), Harrison, Hinds (11), Jones (2), Lamar (4), Leflore (2), Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison (3), Marion, Pike, Rankin (4) and Wayne counties.
In 2012, Mississippi had 247 WNV cases and five deaths.
You can reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses year-round by: removing sources of standing water, especially after rainfall; and if you will be in mosquito-prone areas, wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) during peak times from dusk until dawn, and use a recommended mosquito repellent according to manufacturer’s directions.
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.