Three new Zika cases reported in Mississippi
Published 7:00 am Friday, July 15, 2016
The Mississippi State Department of Health reported three new cases of the Zika virus this week.
A press release from the MSDH states the three new cases were reported in Chicasaw, Hinds and Rankin counties. These patients recently traveled to St. Thomas, Nicaragua and Guatemala, states the release.
The previous week, two cases from DeSoto and Madison counties were reported from patients who had been to Jamaica and Guatemala, states the release.
Three other cases of the Zika virus in Mississippi have been reported this year, bringing the total to eight, and all have been linked to travel, states the release.
“At least 46 other U.S. states and territories have already reported travel-associated cases,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs in the release.
The mosquito-borne virus can cause serious birth defects or a mild illness lasting for up to a week. Death associated with the Zika virus is very rare, states the release.
Dobbs also spoke about the popularity of travel and mission trips during the summer months and urged travelers to protect themselves against mosquitos.
The breed of mosquito that carries the virus has not been seen in Mississippi since the early 90s, states the release, but the MSDH is currently studying every county in the state for the presence of the mosquito breed.
In order to prevent illness from this mosquito-borne virus, the MSDH recommends:
• Using mosquito repellant with DEET while outdoors.
• Removing sources of standing water where mosquitos like to breed.
• Wearing loose and light-colored clothing to cover limbs when outdoors.
• Avoiding known mosquito areas.
For more information on the Zika virus, go to healthyMS.com/zika or follow MSDH on social media at healthyMS.com/connect