JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports one new human West Nile virus (WNV) case in Scott County, bringing the state’s total to four. The case was reported in an adult. The MSDH reports both confirmed and probable cases to the public.
So far this year, there have been two positive WNV cases reported in Leflore County, and one in both Coahoma County and Scott County. One human case of LaCrosse encephalitis (LAC) has been reported in Montgomery County. LAC is a mosquito-borne illness similar to WNV.
The MSDH conducts mosquito testing during heightened mosquito season with its most intense surveillance during the peak WNV mosquito reproduction months of July, August and September. There have been two positive WNV mosquito samples reported in Madison and Hancock counties. It is important to remember that mosquito-borne diseases, including WNV, occur statewide and throughout the year.
The MSDH encourages Mississippians to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses: remove sources of standing water, avoid mosquito-prone areas, especially between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active; wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) when in mosquito-prone areas; and apply a DEET-based mosquito repellent according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
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 a brochure on WNV, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com/westnile or 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).