West Nile Virus: Five Human Cases in Mississippi So Far in 2019
August 12, 2019
JACKSON, Miss. Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports two new human case of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2019, bringing the state total to five this year. The new cases were reported in Forrest and Lamar counties. Three previous cases were reported in Smith, Hinds and Copiah counties in July.
In 2018, Mississippi had 50 WNV cases and no deaths. The first case was reported in mid-July.
"While most Mississippians are aware of the existence of West Nile virus, it’s easy to forget how dangerous it can be. We need to remember that we have WNV cases in Mississippi every year, and that everyone needs to act now to reduce their risk of infection regardless of where they live in the state. Most cases occur from July through September," said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. "While most infected people recover without any long-term problems, some develop a more severe infection that can lead to complications and even death - especially in those over 50 years of age."
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.
The MSDH suggests the following precautions to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne illnesses:
For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the MSDH website at HealthyMS.com/westnile.
Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.
Press Contact: MSDH Office of Communications, (601) 576-7667
Note to media: After hours or during emergencies, call 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948)
Find this page at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/index.cfm