Area West Nile cases up to eight

Published 11:04 am Monday, September 17, 2012

NATCHEZ — Two more cases of West Nile Virus have been detected in Adams County.

That brings the total of laboratory confirmed cases in the area to eight, three in Adams County four in Concordia Parish and one in Catahoula Parish. The fourth Concordia Parish case was confirmed last week.

According to the Mississippi Department of Health, symptoms of West Nile Virus are often mild, consisting of fever, headache, muscle weakness, nausea, rash, swollen lymph nodes or vomiting.

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In its more severe cases, it can result in encephalitis — the swelling of the brain — or meningitis, which can lead to coma, paralysis and possibly death.

July through September is the peak West Nile Virus season in Mississippi.

Because it is a mosquito-borne illness, removing sources of standing water and having adequate screens on doors and windows and wearing protective clothing during peak mosquito hours — between dusk and dawn — and using DEET-based mosquito repellant help reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

Mississippi has a total of 169 confirmed cases and four West Nile-related deaths for 2012.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reports that the total cases for that state is 215, with 10 associated deaths this year.