First 2019 Mississippi Human West Nile Case Reported

SMITH COUNTY, MS (Ben Caxton) — The state department of health has reported Mississippi’s first human case of West Nile virus this year in Smith County. Last year Mississippi had 50 cases of the mosquito-borne illness with no deaths. In 2017 there were 63 cases with two deaths. Most West Nile cases occur between July and September and symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can cause encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death. Health officials urge people to reduce risk by using insect repellent, wearing long, light-colored clothes and eliminating standing water.



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