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Published On: Sun, Jun 30th, 2013

Mississippi reports third human West Nile virus case in Lowndes County

Mississippi health officials have confirmed the third human case of West Nile virus this year from Lowndes County, according to a recent press release.

This brings the total cases in the state to three, with previous cases reported from Madison and Forrest counties.

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

“We are now entering our high-risk WNV season, as historically we see more human cases in July, August and September than in other months,” said Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “We encourage all residents throughout the state to take the necessary steps to prevent infection.”

Mississippians should take the following precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses year-round: remove sources of standing water, especially after rainfall; and if you will be in mosquito-prone areas, wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) during peak times from dusk until dawn, and use a recommended mosquito repellent according to manufacturer’s directions.

First discovered in Uganda in 1937, West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause encephalitis, a brain inflammation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.

About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness.

The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

There is no specific treatment for WNV infection.

In 2012, Mississippi had a record number of human WNV cases. Last year, the state reported 247 WNV cases and five deaths.

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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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