Jackson County addresses increased West Nile Virus concern
From: Jackson County Public Information Office Ken Flannigan Filed 9/20/07 GCN
The Mississippi Department of Health has confirmed a human case of West Nile Virus in Jackson County. The County’s Emergency Management Office was informed this case is in the northwest section of Pascagoula. This is Jackson County’s first human case of West Nile since the summer of 2005.
"Although we’ve had some cooler days, it is still peak West Nile virus season. Mosquitoes are still biting and transmitting the virus to humans. I encourage all Mississippians to continue taking precautions to avoid this disease," said Dr. Ed Thompson, Interim State Health Officer.
Mosquito suppression throughout the county is managed by the Jackson County Board of Supervisors through its contract with Mississippi Mosquito Control Incorporated (MMCI). In response to this latest concern, MMCI is initiating the following actions:
The City of Pascagoula is also taking additional steps to address this West Nile concern. Mayor Matthew Avara says all public works crews are instructed to pay special attention to any area with standing water.
“We are aggressively addressing this issue. Our crews are watching out for standing water at all city parks and in all drainage ditches. We also want our residents to let us know if they see any problem spots, such as abandoned houses or swimming pools,” Avara said.
The Mississippi Department of Health confirms 76 human cases of West Nile Virus so far this year. Dr. Thompson suggests that Mississippians take the following precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses:
The Health Department reports symptoms of WNV infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.
For more tips on preventing and protecting yourself from mosquito-borne illnesses visit www.health.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,0,93,html .