West Nile case confirmed in Forrest County

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus for 2017 late last month.

According to a press release from MSDH, the case was reported in Forrest County.

This is Mississippi’s first confirmed case of West Nile this year, the release states, while last year the state recorded 43 confirmed cases and two deaths.

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“While WNV can occur any time of the year, we are approaching the time of year when most cases occur, usually from July through September,” MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said in the release.

Although this year’s first case was discovered in neighboring Forrest County, all Mississippians are at risk of infection, the release states.

“Additionally we have identified mosquitoes from many areas in the state that have tested positive for West Nile in the past month, so now is the time to really take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when going outdoors,” Byers said.

West Nile can cause symptoms of fever, headache, nausea, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes, according to the release.

Other cases can lead to meningitis, paralysis or death, the release states.

MSDH recommends using mosquito repellant that contains DEET, removing sources of standing water around the home, wearing loose and light colored clothing and avoiding areas where mosquitos are more prevalent.