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West Nile and Zika numbers grow among Mississippians

JACKSON, Miss.- More cases of West Nile Virus and Zika Virus have been reported by the Mississippi State Department of Health. 

A new case of West Nile was found in Lamar County, bringing this year’s total to five. The state saw 38 cases of WNV, and one death, in 2015.

Symptoms of the virus include mild fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rashes, any type of weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In some cases there could be encephalitis or meningitis that can lead to paralysis, a coma, or even death.

The MSDH also found reports of three new cases of Zika Virus. All the cases reported were associated with travel to other countries.One of the cases was found in Harrison County and the other two inPanola County. That brings this year’s total to 14.

Both are mosquito-borne viruses that can be transmitted through a bug bite.

Zika Virus can cause serious birth defects in babies which include brain damage, hearing and vision loss, and impaired growth if a mother is infected during her pregnancy.

MSDH officials recommend that you do the following to decrease your risk of infection from either virus:

  • Use an EPA- registered repellant like DEET while outside.
  • Get rid of all standing water around your home or yard.
  • Wear loose-light colored clothing.
  • Do not go to areas where mosquitoes are in high numbers.

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