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Mississippi reaches 31 West Nile virus cases so far in 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A central Mississippi county is reporting its first case of West Nile virus, bringing the state’s total to 31 cases so far this year.

The Mississippi State Department of Health says Monday that the new case is in Attala County.

Mississippi has among the highest numbers of serious West Nile infections nationwide.

Hinds County has reported 11 total cases. Adams, Calhoun, Forrest and Harrison counties have two each.

Counties with a single case each besides Attala are Copiah, Itawamba, Jones, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Rankin, Walthall and Washington counties.

Mississippi reported 63 West Nile cases and two deaths in 2017.

Health officials urge people to reduce risk by using insect repellent, wearing long, light-colored clothes and eliminating standing water.