ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the second death and nine new human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2012.
The death was in Lincoln County, and the new cases were reported in Copiah (1), Hinds (2), Lawrence (1), Lincoln (1), Rankin (3) and Smith counties, bringing the state total for 2012 to 85 cases and two deaths. This is the greatest number of cases reported by the end of July since 2002. The MSDH is also reporting a human case of La Crosse encephalitis.
In 2011, Mississippi had 52 WNV cases and five deaths. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.
“Regardless of the specific county reports, West Nile virus is throughout the entire state at this point, and we still have another month or more of peak season. It’s extremely important to protect yourself and your home environment from West Nile virus and all mosquito-borne diseases,” said Dr. Thomas Dobbs, MSDH state epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist.