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Nine new West Nile cases reported in Mississippi

Nine new human cases of the West Nile virus have been reported in Mississippi during the past week, the state Department of Health said Monday.

The new cases were in Adams, Forrest, Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale, Leake, Madison, Warren and Wayne counties.

The department, which reports both confirmed and probable cases of the mosquito-transmitted virus, said the state’s total of human cases this year is 85, with three resulting in death.

Symptoms of West Nile virus 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.

“Although we’ve had some cooler days, it is still peak West Nile virus season. Mosquitoes are still biting and transmitting the virus to humans,” Dr. Ed Thompson, interim state health officer, said earlier this month. “I encourage all Mississippians to continue taking precautions to avoid this disease.”