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West Nile case diagnosed in Rankin County

photo Telesouth Communications

The Mississippi Department of Health has confirmed a second human case of West Nile Virus for the 2017 season.

The person was diagnosed in Rankin county. The first diagnosis came from Forrest County earlier this year. Last year, 43 were infected with the mosquito-borne illness, and two died.

West Nile Virus has been reported throughout the state in previous years. All Mississippians can run the risk of contracting West Nile Virus, even if they live in a county where there has not been a diagnosis yet.

“While WNV can occur any time of the year, we are now in peak season when most cases occur. Additionally, we continue to identify mosquitoes from many areas in the state that have tested positive for West Nile, so now is the time to really take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when going outdoors,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

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

The Mississippi Department of Health says that to reduce your risk of West Nile Virus, take the following precautions:

  • Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET when outside
  • Remove all standing water around the home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding
  • Wear loose, light-colored clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors
  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent

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