County reports WNV death
by Courtney Stevens
Aug 07, 2013 | 2575 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An elderly citizen of the Shelby area died yesterday due to the West Nile Virus.

This death will be the second in the state to date due to West Nile along with four new human cases.

According to the Mississippi Health Officials Report, Dr. Paul Byers, MSDH Deputy State Epidemiologist said, "We want to remind residents we are now in peak West Nile season, and regardless of specific county reports, West Nile virus is active throughout the entire state at this point.

This is when we can expect to see the bulk of our cases so it is very important to be especially mindful of taking proper protective measures now."

There have been 12 cases this year in Rankin, Forrest, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Montgomery, Laflore, Wayne, Hinds, and Bolivar counties.

Two deaths have occurred in Montgomery and now Bolivar County.

"One can only assume that being an older individual, this person had chronic illnesses, making them more susceptible to the virus," said Dr. Alfio Rausa, district health officer of the Mississippi State Department of Health.

"After a death, we investigate the area and breeding and ask that the spraying of repellent be increased," said Rausa.

Rausa stressed that it is up to citizens to help control the mosquito population by keeping their grass cut and having no standing water on their property where mosquitoes can breed, especially after rainfall.

"These particular mosquitoes feed in the early morning and late evening," said Rausa.

"It would be best to spray with repellent, wear long sleeves, or don't go out during these hours."

Citizens are encouraged to use a repellent that has at least 10 percent DEET, which can be found on the repellent.

For more information on the mosquito population in Mississippi and prevention, visit the Mississippi State Department of Health website or call Mississippi's West Nile Hotline at 877-978-6453.