Three new human cases of West Nile Virus were reported by the Mississippi State Department of Health on Monday, bringing the state total to 58 for 2017. The new cases were in Hinds, Rankin, and Sunflower counties.

So far this year, cases have been reported in Bolivar, Calhoun (2), Clarke, Clay, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest (5), Hinds (13), Humphreys (2), Jones, Lauderdale, Leake, Lee (3), Leflore, Lincoln (2), Lowndes (2), Madison (4), Monroe (2), Noxubee, Perry, Rankin (7), Scott (2), Sunflower, 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.

Larrison Campbell is a Greenville native who reports on politics with an emphasis on public health. She received a bachelor’s from Wesleyan University and a master’s from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.Larrison is a 2018 National Press Foundation fellow in public health, a 2019 Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts fellow in health care reporting and a 2019 Center for Health Journalism National Fellow.