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First West Nile Virus case reported in Adams County

Published 12:12am Thursday, September 19, 2013

NATCHEZ The Mississippi State Department of Health reported Wednesday the first case of West Nile Virus this year for Adams County.

The department also reported the second WNV death this year. The death occurred in Forrest County and was a previously reported case.

In addition to the case in Adams County, MSDH reported four other new cases in Forrest, Lamar, Pike and Rankin counties.

The new cases bring the state total for 2013 to 35 human cases, two of which have resulted in deaths.

So far this year, cases have been reported in Adams, Bolivar, Forrest, Hinds, Jones, Lamar, Leflore, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Pike, Rankin and Wayne counties.  The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.

In 2012, Mississippi had 247 WNV cases and five deaths.

MSDH recommends residents take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses year-round. Precautions include removing sources of standing water, especially after rainfall, wearing protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, during peak times from dusk until dawn and using 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.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has reported 21 WNV cases this year, 10 of them neuroinvasive cases, which can cause brain damage, paralysis or death.

This year’s neuroinvasive cases include five in Ouachita Parish, two in Caldwell Parish and one each in Calcasieu, Lafayette and Rapides parishes.