Lauderdale County man dies of West Nile
from staff and wire reports
Aug. 22, 2003
The state Health Department on Thursday confirmed Mississippi's first West Nile death this year, a 39-year-old Lauderdale County man who had tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
Health officials did not identify the man. They had said earlier in the week that they were investigating to determine whether his death was related to the mosquito-born illness.
Health officials also confirmed four new human cases: two in Hinds County, one in Leflore County and one in Harrison County. So far, 20 human cases have been confirmed statewide.
Last year's West Nile virus outbreak in Mississippi resulted in 193 human cases and 12 deaths.
We had 76 cases at this time last year. I think we're doing much better than we were last year. People need to remember that it hasn't gone away. They still need to protect themselves,'' said state epidemiologist Dr. Mary Currier.
Public health officials are urging residents to take standard precautions to prevent mosquito bites, including the use of insect repellents and covering exposed areas of the body.
Currier said people should also get rid of places in their yard or surroundings that can breed mosquitos.
West Nile symptoms are often mild or flu-like and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rashes, muscle weakness and swollen lymph nodes, officials said. But the symptoms can also turn life-threatening in certain instances.