JACKSON, Mississippi – According to the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), the third Mississippian of 2013 has died of West Nile virus (WNV). The death occurred in a Forrest County resident who was a previously reported human case. The state total for 2013 is now 43 human cases, including three deaths. The other two deaths occurred in Forrest and Bolivar counties.
So far this year, cases have been reported in Adams, Bolivar, Forrest (6), Harrison, Hinds (12), Jones (2), Lamar (5), Leflore (2), Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison (3), Marion, Pike, Rankin (5) and Wayne counties. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.
In 2012, Mississippi had 247 WNV cases and five deaths.
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.