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Miss-Lou officials reporting mild mosquito season so far

NATCHEZ — No cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in the Miss-Lou, but doctors are advising residents to take precautions to prevent it from spreading.

One person has died and eight have tested positive for the virus in Mississippi. A total of 30 mosquito samples have tested positive for it in Mississippi.

One case has been reported in Louisiana.

Epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard said a positive test for West Nile, located several parishes away, could still threaten Concordia Parish.

“It doesn’t matter where cases have been reported, everybody is at risk,” Ratard said. “Mosquitos don’t see parish boundaries. We are in the high point of the season right now for West Nile Virus.”

Ratard suggested three ways to prevent the disease — Don’t invite mosquitos into your house, into your yard or onto your skin.

“Make sure mosquitos can’t enter your house through any opening,” Ratard said. “Turn over anything that might collect water, such as small buckets or pots. If you go out at night, either wear long sleeves and pants or mosquito repellant.”

Both Concordia Parish and Adams County are taking precautionary measures, resulting in a relatively mild mosquito season.

Natchez Public Works Supervisor Justin Dollar said his department sprays for mosquitos on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“We have split the city up into zones and proactively spray, not just when someone calls in,” Dollar said. “It seems to be working.”

The public works department also traps and tests mosquitos for West Nile Virus.

The Vidalia Street and Sanitation Department takes similar measures, spraying on Tuesday and Thursday from dusk to 10 p.m., Superintendent Lee Staggs said.

“Before we started spraying we also treated ditches and drains for mosquito larvae,” Staggs said. “Honestly, I think this is the mildest year we have had in a while.”

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