Today, the MS Department of Health notified the Clay County and City officials of one confirmed case of the West Nile Virus in Clay County. The MS Department of Health is currently working with the City and County officials to boost mosquito control efforts in their jurisdictions by providing map specific information for spraying efforts. Currently, the City and County have requested educational materials and door-hangers to be distributed locally through civic groups, churches, schools, and volunteer organizations.
Peak season for WNV is July, August, and September, but mosquito-borne illnesses can occur year-round. Citizens of Clay County should take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses by doing the following:
Remove sources of standing water, especially after rainfall
Install or repair screens on windows and doors
If you will be in mosquito-prone areas, wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) during peak times from dusk until dawn
Use repellents containing DEET for use on human skin. Always read the manufacturer’s directions carefully before you put on a repellent, especially with children.
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 information on WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses, a checklist to reduce the mosquito population in and around homes, and recommended mosquito repellents, 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).
Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.
Issued on September 27, 2012, 6:20 p.m.