Mississippi reports first West Nile virus case in 2018

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, July 12, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi State Department of Health is confirming the state’s first 2018 case of West Nile virus.
The case was reported in late June in Hinds County.

In 2017, Mississippi reported 63 West Nile cases and two deaths.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says most infections of the mosquito-borne disease happen from July to December. He urges people to try to reduce their risk of infection by using insect repellent, reducing standing water to prevent mosquito breeding and wearing long clothing to protect arms and legs.

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Symptoms of infection may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. Byers says most people recover without long-term problems. But in a few cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, leading to paralysis, coma or even death.