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Published On: Mon, Feb 10th, 2014

Mississippi reports first West Nile virus case of the year

A Hinds County resident is the first confirmed West Nile virus (WNV) in the state of Mississippi in 2014, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) Feb. 10.

mosquito

Photo/CDC

“From time to time, we do see cases reported this early in Mississippi. While it does seem surprising given all the winter weather we’ve had this season, it serves as a good reminder that WNV can occur year-round, even if we are not in the peak summer months of July, August, and September,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

“Also, the timeframe of when the first case is reported has no effect on the type of WNV activity we’ll see in a particular season. There really is no way to predict how active the season will be,” said Dobbs.

West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. West Nile virus can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

It was first detected in North America in 1999, and has since spread across the continental United States and Canada.

Most people get infected with West Nile virus by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals.

In a very small number of cases, West Nile virus has been spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, and from mother to baby during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding, according to the CDC.

In 2013, Mississippi recorded 45 WNV cases and five deaths.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 2,374 WNV cases and 114 deaths. This was a far cry from the 2012 outbreak that had a final total of  5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Mississippi reports second human West Nile virus case of 2014 | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] first case of human WNV in Mississippi occurred in a Hinds County resident in February. In 2013, Mississippi recorded 45 WNV cases and five […]

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