West Nile Virus finds two more victims

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported two new human cases of the West Nile virus on Monday, bringing the total number of WNV cases in 2015 to 37.

So far, there’s been one reported WNV-related death in Attala County. This year, cases have been reported in Adams, Attala, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Hinds, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Rankin, Simpson, Washington and Yazoo counties, according to a press release from the MSDH.

While the year isn’t over yet, there are currently fewer WNV cases in Mississippi this year than last year. In 2014, the MSDH reported 43 WNV cases and seven deaths resulting from people contracting the mosquito-borne virus, the press release states.

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WNV symptoms are mild and can include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In some cases, infection can cause encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma or death, according to the release.

The MSDH offers the following tips for protection against mosquito-borne illness:

— Use repellents containing DEET.

— Remove sources of standing water.

— Wear loose and long clothing to cover arms and legs while outdoors.

— Avoid mosquito-prevalent areas.

For more information about mosquito-related illnesses, visit www.HealthyMS.com/westnile.