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West Nile in Miss.: Not As Many People Have it as We Thought

JACKSON, Miss.–It was thought that 14 people in Mississippi had West Nile, with two deaths. It turns out that is no longer the case after the state Dept. of Health had to reclassify two of the West Nile reports.

That reclassification means one of the people who doctors previously thought died of West Nile actually didn’t, a spokesperson told News Mississippi Wednesday. The reclassification happened after the final results were sent from Mississippi to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

While the Health Dept. did not discuss how that person died, they did report that two more people have the mosquito-borne disease this week, with the new occurrences in LeFlore and Marion counties.

So far this year people have gotten sick in Forrest, Lamar, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Wayne, LeFlore (2), Bolivar, Hinds, Rankin and Marion counties. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.

The Dept. of Health published these tips on their website:

Mississippians should take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile and other mosquito-borne illnesses year-round: remove 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.

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