The Mississippi Department of Health is reporting one new human case of West Nile virus in the state, in Jones County. Other cases are in Lincoln,
Lauderdale and Hancock counties.
In 2011, Mississippi had 52 cases and five deaths from West Nile virus.
Health officials say residents should take precautions to reduce the risk by removing sources of standing water where mosquitoes breed and to wear long pants and sleeves in mosquito-prone areas during peak times from dusk until dawn.
Mosquito repellent is also recommended.
Symptoms of WNV infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.
For more information on WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses, a checklist to reduce the mosquito population in and around homes, and recommended mosquito repellents, visit the department of health website. A link is provided below. You may also call the WNV toll-free hotline from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-877-WST-NILE (1-877-978-6453).