Warren County West Nile case brings new warnings to take

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 28, 2003

[8/28/03]State Health Department officials are again warning people to use caution and avoid exposure to mosquitoes that may be carrying the West Nile virus.

The health department reported this week that an elderly Warren County man has tested positive for the virus that infected 193 people and led to 12 deaths in Mississippi last year. Dr. Risa Webb, infectious diseases consultant with the health department, would not identify the man who has developed meningo-encephalitis or release his condition.

“The important point for people to know is that we have West Nile virus in the state, and everyone should protect themselves,” Webb said.

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The virus is transmitted to people from mosquito bites, and health officials are again urging residents to take precautions including the use of insect repellents and covering exposed areas of the body. Webb also encouraged people to stay indoors at dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

The more deadly form of encephalitis causes both swelling of the brain and of the lining around the brain.

The total number of human cases in the state this year is now 26. One person has died after contracting the virus.

The county with the most cases is again Hinds where six people have been diagnosed.

L.W. Callaway III, director of Warren County Emergency Management, said there have been no cases of animals infected with the virus this year and that there was no information available about where the county man was infected.

“You can live on Cherry Street or go down to Yokena to ride your horse and get it there,” Callaway said.

West Nile symptoms are often mild or flu-like and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rashes, muscle weakness and swollen lymph nodes.