West Nile Cases Surge In The Metro - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

West Nile Cases Surge In The Metro

Stephanie Bell Flynt
stephanie@wlbt.net

Health Department WNV Report

West Nile isn't a virus everyone takes seriously, until you find out just how debilitating it can be. We have followed Melanie Smith since the first of the year. She's gone from being paralyzed, to having limited and unsteady mobility, to finally being able to support herself with the aid of a walker. "I can get around pretty good in my house, with the walker, except for cooking. I don't trust myself to cook with my walker yet. I still have balance issues," Melanie explained. 

The latest West Nile report reveals a disturbing trend in the Tri-County area. Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties have doubled or nearly doubled their human cases in just one week. Hinds has 6 cases. Madison has 8, and Rankin has 6.

To help control this mosquito born illness, health officials urge you to fight the bite especially when you are out and about this holiday week. And you can do that in a number of ways, beginning with repellent. You're also encouraged to remove standing water in your yard, because it can be a breeding ground for the biting little pests. And avoid mosquito prone areas, typically from dusk to dawn.

If you are infected with West Nile, your symptoms might or might not be as compelling as Melanie's because cases range from very mild to very severe. But here's what health officials say to look for first. Fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle weakness and swollen lymph nodes.

Playing it smart will help you avoid the year-long plus interruption, Melanie continues to deal with, fortunately with a strong family and expert health professionals. "They have really good hopes for me. Are you hopeing to eventually get off the walker? I'll be off of it soon."

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