Mississippi Health Officials Report First Human West Nile Virus Death

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West Nile Virus Death

Mississippi Department of Health reports the first death of 2007 related to complications from West Nile Virus infection.

The patient, a Madison County resident, was previously reported by MDH as testing positive for the virus.

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To date, the four confirmed cases of WNV in Mississippi have been reported in Walthall, Lawrence, Scott and Madison Counties.

According to Interim State Epidemiologist Dr. Lovetta Brown, WNV is most prevalent in mid- to late summer; however, it can occur throughout the year. MDH conducts mosquito testing throughout the year with its most intensive surveillance during peak mosquito reproduction time, which is usually July, August and September.

Symptoms of WNV infection are often mild or flu-like and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of people, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.

MDH continues to encourage Mississippians to take the following simple precautions to reduce their risk of contracting West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses:

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