Jackson, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed its second case of the Zika virus Friday morning.
This case was reported in a Noxubee County resident who recently traveled to Haiti.
Thursday, officials with the State Health Department reported its first case in a resident from Madison County. That person, we’re told, also recently traveled to Haiti.
“Three U.S. territories and 36 other states have already reported travel-associated cases,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. “With late spring and summer approaching, we know it is a popular time for mission trips and vacations to these areas. Please be especially mindful of protecting yourself from mosquitoes while you’re abroad. Simple steps can make a big difference.”
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause birth defects if contracted during pregnancy.
“Pregnant women should avoid travel to these countries,” said Dr. Dobbs. “At this time, the mosquito spreading Zika in Mexico, South America and the Caribbean is not known to be present in Mississippi.”
The virus can cause mild systems like fever, joint pain, conjunctivitis or rash. Those systems may last for several days. Eighty percent of people infected with the virus show no symptoms. Death because of the virus is very rare.
“The MSDH is working with medical partners across the state to ensure that the most current national guidelines for preventing and testing for Zika are being followed,” said Dr. Dobbs. “The MSDH Public Health Laboratory now has the ability to test for Zika in-house to allow for rapid turnaround and high volume testing should the need arise.”