Caution urged as West Nile spreads

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 29, 2015

Earlier this week, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported two new human cases of the West Nile virus found in Madison County. So far this year, there have been a total of 13 reported cases in Adams, Covington, Forrest, Hinds, Madison, Rankin and Simpson counties, according to a press release from the MSDH.

Last year, Mississippi reported 43 WNV cases and seven deaths resulting from people contracting the mosquito-borne virus.

Symptoms of the WNV are often mild and could include fever, headache, nausea, a rash, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes or muscle weakness. Though the chances are small, WNV infections could result in meningitis or encephalitis, which can lead to coma, paralysis and possibly death.

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In the press release, State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs advises Mississippians to protect themselves, especially during this time because the majority of WNV cases are reported in August and September.

There are numerous precautions Mississippians can take to ensure they protect themselves and their loved ones from mosquito-borne illnesses, including wearing loose, light-colored apparel that covers arms and legs when outdoors, avoiding mosquito-infested areas, using mosquito repellant and removing all sources of standing water around the home, the press release states.

For more information about mosquito-related illnesses, visit