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Forty More West Nile Cases Reported in Mississippi
From: Mississippi Department of Health    Filed 9/9/06  GCN

This week, the Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) confirmed 40 new
West Nile virus (WNV) human cases.

Eighteen of the 40 are new confirmed cases. These cases were confirmed in the following counties: Adams (1), Alcorn (1), Bolivar (3), Forrest (1), Hinds (4), Lauderdale (1), Lowndes (1), Rankin (4), Walthall (1) and Wayne (1).

Twenty-two of the newly confirmed 40 cases were previously undetermined and were retested. They are now confirmed positive for WNV. These cases were confirmed in Covington (1), Forrest (6), Harrison (3), Hinds (3), Lamar (1), Lauderdale (1), Madison (2), Marion (1), Panola (1), Rankin (1), Sunflower (1) and Wayne (1).

These new human cases bring the state's WNV human case total to 73, with three resulting in death. This time last year, Mississippi reported 45 human WNV cases with one death.

MDH also confirmed that five new birds tested positive for WNV, one in each of the following counties:  Leake, Kemper, Smith, Warren and Washington.

State Health Officer Dr. Brian Amy reminds Mississippians this is peak season for WNV. “Traditionally, July through September is peak season for WNV. It is important to continue to practice personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites.”

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, 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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