JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Mississippi State Department of Health says there are seven West Nile virus cases.
The new cases were reported in Covington, Hinds (3), Humphreys, Leflore and Perry counties. This brings this year’s total to 10.
“We are now in peak season for West Nile virus in Mississippi, and even if there has not been a reported human case in your county, our surveillance has shown that mosquitoes that carry the virus are active in all parts of the state,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.
MSDH officials said so far, this year cases have been reported in Covington, Forrest (2), Hinds (3), Humphreys, Leflore, Perry and Rankin counties. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public. In 2016, Mississippi had 43 WNV cases and two deaths.
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.
Below are some tips from the health department:
- Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient such as 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.
For more information, visit MSDH’s website.