First West Nile case of the season

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 24, 2015

This week, the Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in 2015.
According to an MSDH release, the reported case was found in a Hinds County adult. In 2014, the MSDH recorded 43 WNV cases and seven deaths.
“While WNV can occur any time of the year, we see the bulk of our cases during peak season, which is July through September. So this is the time of year to be extremely vigilant when going outdoors,” MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs said in the release.
According to the release, WNV symptoms are often mild and can include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In some cases, infection can lead to encephalitis or meningitis, which can cause paralysis, coma and possibly death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, the best way to avoid exposure to the WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips regarding prevention:
• Use repellents containing DEET.
• Wear long sleeve shirts and pants while outdoors.
• Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitos outside.
• Remove sources of standing water.
• Support local mosquito control programs, which provide the spraying of insecticides for trucks or aircraft to kill adult mosquitoes.
There is no vaccine or specific treatments for WNV available, the CDC website states. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used and in severe cases, some people may need to be hospitalized to receive intravenous fluids, pain medication and nursing care.
For more information about mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the Mississippi State Department of Health’s website at and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at

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