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Health

Second case of West Nile reported for 2020

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(Photo by Enrique Dans, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

The Mississippi State Department of Health has confirmed the second case of West Nile virus in 2020.

The first case was reported in Claiborne County in June. This recent case is in Lee County.

Most people infected with West Nile virus either don’t develop signs or symptoms or have only minor ones, such as fever and mild headache, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, some people develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the spinal cord or brain.

Mild signs and symptoms of a West Nile virus infection generally go away on their own. But severe signs and symptoms — such as a severe headache, fever, disorientation or sudden weakness — require immediate attention.

West Nile is one of several mosquito-borne illnesses affecting Mississippians. MSDH suggests the following tips to deal with mosquitoes:

  • Avoid mosquitoes whenever possible. Stay indoors or take personal protective measures, especially between dusk and dawn, which are peak mosquito biting times.
  • Use mosquito repellent with DEET. Products with up to 30% DEET will provide adequate protection under most conditions. Use DEET concentrations of 10% or less on children ages 2 to 12 years of age, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. For children younger than 2 years old, parents should consult their pediatrician. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use as printed on the product label.
  • Wear long-sleeved, long-legged clothing with socks and shoes when practical.
  • Individuals should wear gloves when handling any dead bird or mammal because of the possibility of other diseases.

For more information, visit the MSDH website.

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