23rd case of West Nile reported in MS; brings total to 9 in Hind – WMC Action News 5

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -

If you live in Jackson, the Mississippi Department of Health is now warning you to prepare for mosquitoes.

Two new cases of West Nile Virus have been reported, nine of those cases right here in Hinds County, bringing the state’s total to 23.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said that this is the perfect time for a virus like this to start. 

“Typically you know July, August to September are where we see most of our reported cases but we can see cases throughout the year,” said Dr. Byers. “This is just our most active time.”

Byers said you can reduce your risk of contracting West Nile by removing standing water near your home and wearing mosquito repellent. But there are other factors to consider.

“You want to avoid those times of day where these mosquitoes are most active, which usually in the earlier morning hours or in the evening hours,” said Dr. Byers. “Wear long sleeves, wear long pants to try and minimize your exposure to these mosquitoes.” 

Officials from the Mississippi Department of Health are warning people about water in ditches and canals, because they’re a breading ground for mosquitoes and West Nile Virus.

RELATED: Jackson residents warned as Department of Health reports new West Nile Virus cases?

Flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, nausea, muscle aches or rash can all be symptoms for West Nile Virus. 

This may sound like your average bug, but it can always lead to something worse.

“West Nile Neuro-invasive disease, and that can be associated with meningitis, encephalitis, in some cases a polio like paralysis,” said Dr. Byers.

Some Jackson residents weren’t aware that nine cases have been reported in Hinds County, but are still on top of their game when it comes to fighting off mosquitoes.

Gloria Ayers gardens and use rain water for her plants. She’s also has gotten into the habit of using bug spray while gardening.

“So we just have to do what we need to do to take care of ourselves, wearing long sleeves, using repellents and that kind of thing,” said Ayers. 

Steve Galloway worked outside often enough to know that grass and sitting water attracts mosquitoes, but he’s also aware that the hard work that he puts in will eventually lead to a bite here an there. 

“You’re still going to get bit, but you just hope for the best, you know I spray mosquito spray, but I still get bit,” said Galloway. “Once I sweat it it leaves. You just really hope for the best.”

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