More West Nile cases reported

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported seven new human cases of the West Nile virus on Monday, bringing the total number of WNV cases in 2015 to 35.

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.

Stephanie Lopez, director of clinical outcomes at Highland Community Hospital, said that while the hospital hasn’t treated a WNV case in several years, they recommend people continue to use preventative measures to protect themselves from the mosquito-borne illness.

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In the past four years, Highland Community Hospital in Picayune has treated three patients for WNV, one of which was severe but not fatal. Currently, there’s no specific medication used to treat the mosquito-borne illness. Symptoms 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, 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 compared to 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.

For more information about mosquito-related illnesses, visit