The Mississippi State Department of Health reports 14 new human cases of West Nile virus.
The reported cases are in Adams, Calhoun, Clarke (2), Hinds (3), Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion and Rankin (2) counties, bringing the state total for 2012 to 33 cases and one death.
Mississippi had a total of 52 cases and five deaths in 2011.
The health department only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.
Mississippians should take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses year-round: remove sources of standing water, especially after rainfall; 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.