West Nile Spreads In Mississippi

The Mississippi State Department of Health reports that two new cases of West Nile virus bring the state total for 2011 to nine. The cases are the second this year in Hinds County, and the first in Forrest county.

Cases reported earlier include two in Pearl River County and one each in Coahoma, Jones, Marion and Tallahatchie counties.

Eight West Nile virus cases were reported in 2010.

Dr. Paul Byers, the acting state epidemiologist, says the virus is a statewide threat and people should take precautions against mosquitoes, which carry it. Precautions include making sure there’s no standing water around houses, and using mosquito repellent and wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts outside, especially around dawn and dusk.