Mississippi Reports Additional Human West Nile Virus Case

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Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports one new human case of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2008, bringing the state’s total number of WNV cases to 101 with four deaths. The new case is in Hinds County. MSDH reports both confirmed and probable cases to the public.

Since March 2008, WNV cases have been reported in Calhoun, Clarke, Forrest (4), George (2), Grenada, Harrison (2), Hinds (23), Jackson, Jasper (3), Jones (16), Lamar (2), Lawrence, Leake (3), Leflore (5), Lincoln (4), Madison (7), Marion (3), Monroe (2), Neshoba (7), Panola, Pearl River, Rankin (3), Scott (4), Simpson, Sunflower, Washington and Wayne counties. Deaths have been reported in Forrest, Hinds and Leflore counties. Six cases of LaCrosse Encephalitis (LAC) have been reported in Adams, Amite, Harrison, Hinds, Madison and Yazoo counties with one case of Jamestown Canyon virus in Lamar County. Eight cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and four cases of WNV have been reported in horses.

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The MSDH conducts statewide mosquito testing with its most intensive surveillance during the peak WNV mosquito reproduction months of July, August and September. It is important to remember that mosquito-borne diseases, including WNV, occur statewide and throughout the year.

The MSDH encourages all Mississippians to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses: remove sources of standing water; avoid mosquito-prone areas, especially between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active; wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) when in mosquito-prone areas; and apply a DEET-based mosquito repellent according to the 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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