The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has confirmed a human case of West Nile virus in Attala County, bringing the state’s total to 31 so far for 2018.
So far this year human cases have been reported in Adams (2), Attala, Calhoun (2), Copiah, Forrest (2), Harrison (2), Hinds (11), Itawamba, Jones, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Rankin, Walthall and Washington counties.
In 2017, Mississippi had 63 WNV cases and two deaths.
The health department only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.
Peak season for WNV is July through September in Mississippi, and State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said that while most people with WNV infection recover without any long-term problems, some develop a more severe infection that can lead to complications and even death – especially those over 50 years of age.
The department recommends removing standing water where mosquitoes could breed, wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts outdoors and using mosquito repellent.