JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports its first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2018.
The reported case is in Hinds County.
In 2017, Mississippi had 63 WNV cases and two deaths. The first case was reported in late June 2017.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says most cases occur from July through September.
"The first case of 2018 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," he said.
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.
The MSDH suggests the following precautions to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne illnesses:
· Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient such as DEET while you are outdoors.
· Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding.
· Wear loose, light-colored, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.
· Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.