Mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus detected in Rankin County

RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Rankin County officials said they have detected the first positive mosquito pool of West Nile Virus for this year.

A total of seven pools from the county were collected and tested and one of them has come back positive for West Nile.

The positive mosquitoes were trapped in Supervisor District 2 (Reservoir Area).

Rankin County’s Mosquito Abatement program is operated by Vector Disease Control International.

VDCI said they are taking aggressive action in this area.

Although a positive pool of WNV has been found, there have been no reported cases of WNV in people in Rankin County this year.

These are tips to to protect yourself from the mosquito borne illness.

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon eucalyptus being careful to follow label directions.
  • Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing. Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks.
  • Minimize outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Make sure that all screens on doors and windows are in good condition and fit tightly.
  • Encourage neighbors and family members to exercise these precautions.
  • Eliminate standing water around your property and encourage neighbors to do the same.
  • Keep grass and weeds cut in order to minimize resting places for adult mosquitoes.

West Nile virus can be transmitted to humans, horses and other animals by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are infected when they bite infected birds, which are the primary hosts of WNV. Most people bitten by West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes experience either no symptoms, or possibly a short period of mild flu-like symptoms.

Symptoms of human West Nile virus infections typically begin within 14 days following the insect bite and consist of low-grade fever, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, and headaches. In rare but severe cases, symptoms can include high fever, neck pain, severe headache, a rash on the torso, and disorientation, which may be signs of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

If such symptoms occur, seek immediate medical attention. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus infection; avoiding mosquito bites and a comprehensive integrated mosquito management program is the best prevention.

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