NESHOBA COUNTY, Miss.–Mississippi has some wonderful woods and waterways and when you combine the outdoors with people, sometimes it means disease. West Nile mosquitoes have now infected 40 people in the state, and five people have died. The State Dept. of Health said Monday that three more people were tested and confirmed to have it.
Those people were in Lowndes, Neshoba and Rankin counties.
This year, the highest number of people infected by county is 9, in Hinds County. The more people you have in a particular area, the better chances that more people will be bitten by carrier mosquitoes.
From the Dept. of Health:
So far this year, human WNV cases have been reported in the following counties: Adams (3), Bolivar (1), Carroll (1), Coahoma (1), Clarke (1), Covington (1), Forrest (6), Harrison (1), Hinds (9), Jones (1), Lauderdale (1), Lee (1), Lowndes (1), Madison (1), Monroe (1), Neshoba (1), Newton (1), Rankin (5), Yazoo (1), Washington (1), and Wilkinson (1). Five WNV deaths have occurred, in Coahoma, Forrest, Lee, Madison, and Yazoo counties.
What you need to know:
The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public. In 2013, Mississippi had 45 WNV cases and five deaths.
The MSDH suggests the following precautions to protect yourself and your environment from mosquito-borne illnesses:
- Use a recommended mosquito repellent that contains DEET while you are outdoors.
- Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding.
- Wear loose, light-colored, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.
- Travelers to the Caribbean should take precautions against mosquito exposure. Please seeHealthyMS.com/chik for more information.
For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com/westnile.