JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting the state's first human case of West Nile virus this year.

The department says Thursday that the case is in Smith County, in the central part of the state.

In 2018, Mississippi had 50 cases of the mosquito-borne illness, with no deaths from it. In 2017, the state had 63 cases with two deaths.

The state epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Byers, says most cases occur between July and September.

Symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can cause encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.

Health officials urge people to reduce risk by using insect repellent, wearing long, light-colored clothes and eliminating standing water.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.