Protecting Yourself From West Nile Virus - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Protecting Yourself From West Nile Virus

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - There are now two cases of West Nile virus in Mississippi, one of those is right here in the Pine Belt.

The Mississippi State Department of Health said the latest case is in Forrest County.  The first patient was diagnosed in Madison County back in April.

In 2012, nearly 250 cases were confirmed across the state.

"It's just like any other virus except it can cause some severe problems," said Dr. Ben Burkett of Wesley Medical Center.

He said if you catch the WNV, there's not much doctors can do.

"It can start out with regular symptoms of fever, headache, maybe some fatigue," Burkett said.

He said it can lead to worse.

"Even hospitalization," he said.

He suggests wearing long sleeves and using an insect repellent if you plan on being outdoors.

"We know that an ingredient called deet is very effective in driving away mosquitos," Burkett said.

He said he virus cannot be passed from human to human contact, only from mosquito bites.

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