10 new West Nile cases reported in Mississippi

Published 7:11 am Saturday, August 18, 2007

JACKSON (AP) — Ten new human cases of West Nile virus were reported Friday in six Mississippi counties, according to the Mississippi Department of Health.

Those infected by the mosquito-borne virus lived in Harrison (1); Hinds (2); Lincoln (1); Madison (3); Neshoba (1) and Rankin (2) counties, a news release from the Mississippi Department of Health said.

Interim state epidemiologist Dr. Mary Currier said that the 10 new human cases do not mean that 10 new people have been infected in the past week. Instead, those infected could have become ill a month or more before the lab results were received, the release said.

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‘‘We test for West Nile virus as specimens arrive at the lab,’’ Dr. Currier said. ‘‘Symptoms appear three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, so there is a lag time between being infected by a mosquito.’’

The state’s total number of cases stands at 23, the release said.

As the state enters peak mosquito season, which is late summer to early fall, health officials are urging all Mississippians to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile and other mosquito-borne illnesses.