Health Officials Report Second Human Case of West Nile Virus for 2020

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the second human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) for 2020. The case was reported in Lee County.

Today’s case brings the state total to two in Mississippi so far this year. A case was reported in Claiborne County in June.

In 2019, Mississippi had a total of 15 WNV cases and no deaths.

Peak WNV season in Mississippi is July through September.

Byers said while most people recover from WNV infection without any long-term problems, some develop a more severe infection that can lead to complications and even death, especially in those over 50 years of age.

Symptoms of WNV infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.

The MSDH suggests the following precautions to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient such as DEET while you are outdoors.
  • Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • Wear loose, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.
  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the MSDH website at HealthyMS.com/westnile.

Follow MSDH by email and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.

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