Second Human Case of West Nile Virus identified in Mississippi for 2020

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The Mississippi State Department of Health has reported the second human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) for 2020. The case was reported in Lee County.

A case was reported in Claiborne County in June, so the addition of the Lee County case brings the state’s total number of cases to two. Last year, Mississippi had a total of 15 WNV cases and no deaths.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said, “While most people recover from WNV infection 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, the infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma, and possibly death.

The following precautions are recommended to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • 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, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.
  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

Peak WNV season in Mississippi is July through September.   Click here for more information on mosquito-borne illnesses.

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