Miss. had fewer cases of West Nile than reported

Published 1:17 am Sunday, January 18, 2009

The state Department of Health has revised the number of West Nile virus cases for 2008 from 101 to 65, the result of problems at a private lab that caused misdiagnoses of the disease around the nation.

The state epidemiologist, Dr. Mary Currier, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out an alert in October that a bad lot of test kits had caused a series of false-positive diagnoses of West Nile in a number of states.

The new total is the lowest number of the mosquito-borne disease in the state since 2004. The 65 cases included three fatalities, one each in Forrest, Hinds and Panola counties.

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For Hinds County, which had the most West Nile cases last year, the number of cases fell from 23 to 21. Jones County had five misdiagnosed cases, leaving 10 actual cases.