Four New West Nile Virus cases reported in Mississippi


Four new cases of West Nile Virus have been reported, bringing the state total for 2019 to 13.

Two cases were reported in Forrest County, one in Hinds County, and one in Rankin County.

So far this year, human cases have been reported in Copiah, Forrest (4), Hinds (2), Jefferson, Jones, Lamar, Leake, Rankin, and Smith counties. In 2018, Mississippi had 50 WNV cases and no deaths.

“Even though we have not seen as many West Nile cases so far this season as in previous years, we are still in the midst of peak season in Mississippi, which is July through September,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “It is still important to protect yourself.”

Byers said while most infected people recover 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.