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Case Of West Nile Reported In The County

By David Howell

Editor


JACKSON – Although the peak season for West Nile virus (WNV) in the state typically ends in September, activity is still being reported across the state including a new human case in Yalobusha County. The mosquito-borne illness in a county resident was reported by the Mississippi Department of Health on October 18, marking the first WNV case in the county and boosting the 2018 state total to 43 cases. 

Three cases WNV have been reported in neighboring Calhoun County, along with cases in Adams, Attala, Copiah, Forrest, Harrison, Hinds, Itawamba, Jones, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Rankin, Walthall and Washington counties. 

MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers confirmed WNV is still being reported statewide and all Mississippians should take precautions against mosquitoes, regardless of reports of human cases in specific counties.

Byers said that while most people with WNV recover without any long-term problems, some develop a more severe infection that can lead to complications and even death, especially those over 50 years of age. 

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.

The MSDH suggests the following precautions to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne illnesses:

• Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient such as DEET while you are outdoors.

• Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding.

• Wear long, loose clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.

• Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent. 

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