First WNV Death this Year in Mississippi

Jackson, Miss.

Health officials in Mississippi have confirmed the first West Nile virus death for 2014, a resident of Yazoo County.

A new human case of WNV was also confirmed in Wilkinson County.

So far this year, WNV cases have been reported in Adams (1), Hinds (1), Newton (1), Rankin (2), Yazoo (1), and Wilkinson (1) counties. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.

In 2013, Mississippi had 45 WNV cases and five deaths.

The MSDH is also reporting one new case of chikungunya virus in a Mississippi resident who recently returned from the Dominican Republic. This is the sixth case of chikungunya reported in a Mississippi resident.

The health department urges residents to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses. Here are some suggestions:

· Use a recommended mosquito repellent that contains DEET while you are outdoors.

· Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding.

· Wear loose, light-colored, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.

· Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

· Travelers to the Caribbean should take precautions against mosquito exposure.

For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the MSDH website. A link is provided.