Authorities in Mississippi are confirming another case of the West Nile virus in a resident. This is the second documented incidence of the disease in the state.
Dr. Paul Byers, Mississippi State Department of Health epidemiologist, warned that this is the peak season for the virus, Fox News reports. He said in a statement issued Wednesday, “While (West Nile Virus) WNV can occur any time of the year, we are now in peak season when most cases occur.”
Additionally we continue to identify mosquitoes from many areas in the state that have tested positive for West Nile. Now is time to really take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when going outdoors.
Last year, the Magnolia State had 43 cases of West Nile virus, including two deaths. Overall, there were 2,038 cases of the virus in the USA, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The majority were centered in Texas and California.
The West Nile virus is transmitted to humans from mosquito bites, specifically from the Culex mosquito species that are generally active in the early morning or evening. Other means of contracting the virus are through blood transfusions, organ transplants, from mother to child during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, or exposure in a laboratory environment.
There is no vaccine available for the virus yet, the CDC said. West Nile can cause multiple symptoms, such as disorientations, headaches, high fever, tremors, seizures and other illnesses. It can also cause complications such as encephalitis and meningitis, which could result in paralysis, a coma, or death.
Patients older than 60 years are at a higher risk for more severe conditions when infected with the West Nile virus, as well.
The CDC recommends preventing the disease by using insect repellant, wearing loose and light-fitting clothes that cover arms and legs, eliminating sources of stagnant water, and using screens to protect windows and doors from mosquito entry.