Ten New WNV Cases Reported


The Mississippi State Department of Health Monday reported ten new human cases of West Nile virus.

The reported cases are in Forrest (1), Lamar (1), Lawrence (1), Lincoln (2), Madison (1), Marion (1), Rankin (2), and Warren (1) counties, bringing the state total for 2012 to 95 cases and two deaths.

The MSDH says this is the greatest number of cases reported by the end of July since 2002.

In 2011, Mississippi had 52 WNV cases and five deaths. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.

MSDH is currently working with city and county officials to boost mosquito control efforts in their jurisdictions by providing map specific information for spraying efforts.

Peak season for WNV is July, August, and September in Mississippi, but mosquito-borne illnesses can occur year-round.

Residents should take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses: remove sources of standing water, especially after rainfall; install or repair screens on windows and doors; and if you will be in mosquito-prone areas, wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) during peak times from dusk until dawn, and use a recommended mosquito repellent according to manufacturer’s directions.

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.


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