Home » NEWS » Health » Mississippi health officials report first West Nile Virus human case of 2013

Mississippi health officials report first West Nile Virus human case of 2013

JACKSON — Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the state’s first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2013. The reported case is in Madison County. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public. In 2012, Mississippi had 247 WNV cases and five deaths.

“This is actually not the first time we have had cases reported this early in Mississippi. We have had cases in March before and as early as January in previous years. This serves as a reminder that WNV can occur year-round, even if we are not in the peak summer months of July, August, and September,” said MSDH Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “Also, the timeframe of when the first case is reported has no effect on the type of WNV activity we’ll see in a particular season. The first cases of the 2012 were reported in June, and we went on to set a record for the highest number of human cases in one season.”

Mississippians should take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses year-round: remove sources of standing water, especially after rainfall; if you will be in mosquito-prone areas, wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) during peak times from dusk until dawn; and use a recommended mosquito repellent according to manufacturer’s directions.

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.

For more information on WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses, a checklist to reduce the mosquito population in and around homes, and recommended mosquito repellents, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com/westnile or call the WNV toll-free hotline from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-877-WST-NILE (1-877-978-6453).

BEFORE YOU GO…

… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*