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Mississippi Department of Health Officials Report Second West Nile Virus (WNV) Human Death

From: Mississippi Department of Health         Filed 7/27/06

A Scott County resident is Mississippi’s second death from West Nile virus (WNV) this year, Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) officials reported today. The resident was previously reported as one of Mississippi‘s total of 12 WNV human cases. This time last year, Mississippi reported five human cases.

MDH continues to encourage Mississippians to practice personal protective measures. Mississippi’s WNV season usually peaks in July, August and September.

Mississippians can take the following simple precautions to reduce their risk of contracting West Nile virus: remove sources of standing water; avoid mosquito-prone areas, especially at night when mosquito activity is highest; wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) when in mosquito-prone areas when possible; and apply a mosquito repellent according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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

For more information on West Nile virus and mosquito-borne viruses and the latest WNV statistics, the public can visit the Mississippi Department of Health’s website at www.HealthyMS.com or call the West Nile virus toll-free hotline from 8 a.m. until

5 p.m. at 1-877-WST-NILE (1-877-978-6453).

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