The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) Monday reported two new human cases of the West Nile Virus, including one new case in DeSoto County.
This is the second report of the mosquito-borne disease to come from the county. Hinds was the other Mississippi county to report a new West Nile Virus case, bringing to 14 the number of cases coming from that central part of the state.
Hinds has reported the most cases of the virus among Mississippi counties this year with adjacent Rankin County second with seven. There have been a total of 60 cases reported in 2017 in the state with two deaths, one each in Forrest and Humphreys counties.
Last year, the Magnolia State saw 43 cases with two deaths reported.
Specific identities and locations of the new reported cases are not provided by the MSDH, due to privacy regulations.
The department did, however, note the reported cases come outside the peak season for the disease, which is July-September. MSDH did stress that West Nile can occur at any time of the year.
Symptoms of West Nile Virus 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 virus has been detected in mosquitoes throughout the state, so residents in all counties should take precautions for protection against mosquito-borne illnesses.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.