JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi resident has died after contracting West Nile virus, marking the first death for 2017 for Mississippi.
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, the resident who died was from Grenada County. There have been nine new cases in humans in Mississippi over the past week and 19 total human cases reported so far this year.
“This sadly serves as a reminder that the threat of West Nile virus should be taken very seriously,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “While many people may be infected with West Nile and not show symptoms, in a small number of cases, the infection can cause very serious complications, even death.”
Symptoms of WNV infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes.
Peak WNV season in Mississippi is July through September, although cases can occur at any time of the year.
The virus has been detected in mosquitoes throughout the state, so residents in all counties should take the following precautions for protection against 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, light-colored, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) July 31, 2017