JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the first positive West Nile virus (WNV) mosquito sample for 2010 in Madison County.
The MSDH conducts statewide mosquito testing during heightened mosquito season with its most intense surveillance during the peak WNV mosquito reproduction months of July, August and September.
So far this year, only one positive human case has been reported. The case was reported in Coahoma County in February.
“This is a little past the usual time of year when we first start seeing positive mosquito samples as well as an increase in human cases,” said State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier. “This serves as a great reminder to take the proper precautions to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile virus, especially over the next couple of months.”
The MSDH encourages Mississippians to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses: remove sources of standing water, avoid mosquito-prone areas, especially between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active; wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) when in mosquito-prone areas; and apply a DEET-based mosquito repellent according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
For more information on WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses, a checklist to reduce the mosquito population in and around homes, and a brochure on WNV, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com/westnile or call the WNV toll-free hotline from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-877-WST-NILE (1-877-978-6453).