West Nile Virus cases increase to 54

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Two new human cases of West Nile Virus were reported by the Mississippi State Department of Health on Monday, bringing the state total to 54 this year. The new cases were in Forrest, Scott and Hinds counties.

So far this year, cases have been reported in Bolivar, Calhoun (2), Clarke, Clay, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest (5), Hinds (12), Humphreys (2), Jones, Lauderdale, Leake, Lee (3), Leflore, Lincoln (2), Lowndes (2), Madison (4), Monroe, Noxubee, Perry, Rankin (6), Scott (2), Wilkinson, and Yazoo counties. Two deaths have been reported in Forrest and Humphreys counties.

In 2016, Mississippi had 43 West Nile Virus cases and two deaths.

Peak West Nile Virus season in Mississippi is July through September, although cases 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.