SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - As the weather warms up, a familiar nagging pest starts to come out. The buzz of the mosquito can be quite aggravating, but the bite of the incessant insect has the potential to be deadly.
On Monday, the Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed Mississippi's second human case of the West Nile Virus in 2014. The case was reported in Newton County. The first case was reported in Hinds County back in February.
"This is the second case of West Nile Virus in Mississippi this year. This serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of preventing mosquito exposures, particularly as we approach the historically active summer months," said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
MSDH officials say it is imperative that you take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting the West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses. Experts say you can do this by removing sources of standing water and wearing protective clothing during the peak mosquito time from dusk until dawn. Officials say it is also important to wear mosquito repellant according to the manufacturer's directions.
Experts say symptoms of the West Nile Virus include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle weakness and swollen lymph nodes. Rare cases can result encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and even death.
According to MSDH, Mississippi saw 45 confirmed cases of the West Nile Virus in 2013, with five deaths.
For more information on the West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, you can visit the MSDH website at http://www.healthyms.com/msdhsite/_static/14%2c0%2c93.html.