The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting four new human cases of West Nile virus.
This brings this year’s total to seven cases. The new cases are in Covington, Forrest, Hinds and Rankin counties.
Cases have been previously reported in Adams, Hinds and Simpson counties.
In 2014, Mississippi had 43 WNV cases and seven deaths.
The Health Department said 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.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs reminds Mississippians that the majority of WNV cases are reported in August and September, so it is important to protect yourself.
Here are some tips:
- 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.