Second West Nile Virus case in Mississippi reported from Adams County

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

NATCHEZ —The second Mississippi case of West Nile virus was reported from Adams County in recent weeks, according to the state health department.

Liz Sharlot, communications director for the Mississippi State Department of Health, said a case of West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne illness that is sometimes fatal, was reported from Adams County on April 21.

This case was the second reported in Mississippi. The first was reported from Hinds County on Feb. 11.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States, most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.

There are no vaccines to prevent it or medications to treat the virus in people.

However, most who are infected do not feel sick, the CDC states. About one in five people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms while about one out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.

According to MSDH, other types of mosquito-borne illnesses to watch out for include St. Louis encephalitis, Chikungunya virus, and Eastern Equine encephalitis.

Each of these illnesses can affect birds, animals and humans, causing flu-like symptoms in people. The occasional severe illness can lead to meningitis or encephalitis.

To prevent becoming infected, MSDH recommends taking the following precautions:

  • Use a recommended mosquito repellent containing DEET, IR-3535 or Picaridin.
  • Cover arms and legs with long sleeves and long skirts or pants.
  • Avoid mosquito-prone areas in the mornings and evenings, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Remove sources of standing water around your home where mosquitoes can breed, and make sure window screens are in good condition.