JACKSON, Miss (WJTV)- As the state of Mississippi has experienced the first West Nile virus case in January 2022 in Hinds County many are possibly wondering what it is and ways to prevent it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the West Nile virus is the leading cause of the mosquito-disease in the United States.
The most common cause of the spread to people is prior to the bite of an infected mosquito. Most cases tend to rise during mosquito season which begins in the summer and lasts until the fall season.
As of Tuesday, October 4 CDC statistics show that Mississippi has experienced two cases and 656 total cases within the US with 68% of those cases being neuroinvasive disease and 32% were non-neuroinvasive disease.
Most people who are infected by the disease will experience little to no symptoms with the symptoms being a fever, headache, muscle weakness, numbness, neck stiffness, tremors, vision loss, and paralysis.
Dr. Geri Weiland, former Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA) President and pediatrician shares that the best ways to prevent from contracting this disease is to simply do the same method in preventing mosquito bites.
“Wear long sleeves and put insect repellent on.”, said Weiland. “Honestly you can put insect repellant over your clothes for that extra protection.”
Weiland shares that there are other things that you can do to keep your outdoor area clear of mosquitos as well.
“The real thing is just prevention as we see most of this in the summer season.”, said Weiland. “It’s very common in Mississippi so still be on the lookout.”
Currently there is no vaccine or specific medications for the disease.