West Nile virus case confirmed in Adams County

Published 2:52 pm Thursday, October 13, 2016

NATCHEZ — The first 2016 Adams County case of West Nile Virus was confirmed Thursday in the Morgantown area.

Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford said Mississippi Health Department officials notified him at approximately 8:30 a.m. that one case of the mosquito-borne virus had been confirmed in an Adams County resident.

Bradford said the county is working to address this situation and for people to continue their regular daily routines.

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To be cautious, Bradford recommended people outside should wear long sleeve shirts and long pants and use insect repellent.

Bradford also recommended removing standing water where mosquitoes could breed.

The county has arranged to have the City of Natchez spray for mosquitoes in a 1-mile radius impacting the Foster Mound and Morgantown areas, Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said. The county does not have a spray truck, but the city does.

“When contacted to do this for the county, I said, ‘Yes,’ in a heartbeat,” Grennell said. “The primary purpose of this is to save lives.”

Public Works Supervisor Justin Dollar said the city would begin spraying at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and work for approximately three hours.

“That’s when mosquitoes are most active so you get the most out of the spray,” he said.

Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus said he wants people to still go out and enjoy the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race.

“Just make sure you put on some bug spray and wear a long sleeve shirt,” Lazarus said. “I want people to have a good time, but just be vigilant and take care of yourself.”

Bradford said the road department has pellets available that residents may obtain to put into ponds to kill mosquitoes. The road department can be reached at 601-304-7997.

The Mississippi Department of Health has confirmed 30 West Nile Virus cases in Mississippi. One person has died this year of a mosquito-borne virus in Hinds County, which has had seven instances of West Nile Virus and one confirmation of the Zika virus.

Nearby, Copiah County has had three West Nile Virus confirmations and Lincoln County has had one.

West Nile Virus is not contagious and is only spread by mosquitoes. Most mosquitoes do not transmit disease.

Persons who are at high risk for serious illness from the West Nile Virus are persons 50 years-old or greater and very young children or those whose immune systems are suppressed. Healthy children and adults are at very low risk for illness officials with the Mississippi Department of Health say.

Mild cases of infection might include a slight fever or headache. More severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of high fever with head and body aches, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and in the most severe cases, paralysis or death. Usually symptoms occur from five to 15 days after exposure.

To protect your yard from mosquitoes, the department of health recommends:
-Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
-Remove all discarded tires on your property. Used tires are very significant mosquito breeding sites.
-Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
-Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
-Remove leaf debris.
-Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
-Change the water in birdbaths.
-Clean vegetation and debris from edges of ponds.
-Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
-Drain water from pool covers.
-Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.