By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Mississippi health officials have reported the first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2019 in a Smith County resident.
“This first case of 2019 is a reminder that each year we have WNV cases in Mississippi and that all Mississippians need to act now to reduce their risk of infection regardless of where they live in the state. Most cases occur from July through September, so this is to be expected,” said Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “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.”
In 2018, Mississippi had 50 WNV cases and no deaths.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is confirming a recent positive West Nile virus (WNV) in a horse near the city of Boaz, in Marshall County. This is the first WNV case reported for this year. Additionally, one case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been reported in a horse. No human infections have been reported, but the risk will remain through the active mosquito season.
According Dr. Dee W. Jones, the state public health veterinarian, “Positive cases in veterinary species, such as horses, can serve as a reminder that infected mosquitoes are circulating and people can be at risk.” He stresses that people only get infected from mosquitoes and that horses do not pose an additional risk for human infection.
West Nile virus
Symptoms of WNV infection in people 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.
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