MSDH confirms new cases of West Nile Virus and Chikungunya
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
The Mississippi State Department of Health is confirming one new human case of West Nile virus and a new case of chikungunya virus.
The reported WNV case is in Rankin County.
So far this year, WNV cases have been reported in Hinds (1), Newton (1), and Rankin (1) counties. In 2013, Mississippi had 45 WNV cases and five deaths.
The MSDH is also reporting a new case of chikungunya virus in a Mississippi resident.
The case occurred in a resident who recently returned from the Dominican Republic.
This is the fifth chikungunya case reported in a Mississippi resident. The four cases previously reported occurred in travelers to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
"We are now in the traditional peak season for West Nile in Mississippi, while more cases of chikungunya continue to be reported as Mississippi residents return from travel to Caribbean countries. This is an important reminder that you should protect yourself from all mosquito-borne illnesses," said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
The MSDH suggests the following precautions to protect yourself and your environment from mosquito-borne illnesses:
• Use a recommended mosquito repellent that contains 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. Mosquitoes that carry chikungunya virus are especially active during the day, while the mosquitoes that carry WNV are active from dusk until dawn.
• Travelers to the Caribbean should take precautions against mosquito exposure. Please see www.HealthyMS.com/chik for more information.
For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com.