West Nile virus prevention, holiday food safety, and more
Mississippi is approaching peak mosquito season, and the risk of West Nile virus, the state's leading mosquito-borne illness, will be at its highest July through September. West Nile virus infection is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. While most people do not develop symptoms, it can cause flu-like illness, with symptoms of fatigue and weakness that may last for weeks or months. Severe cases of WNV infection, especially in those with weakened immune systems, can be fatal. Last year, seven Mississippians died from WNV.
You can stay protected by:
Using an insect repellent whenever you are outdoors, especially in the early morning and evenings when mosquito activity is highest. Repellents with at least 30% DEET offer the longest-lasting protection.
Wearing long sleeves and long pants.
Removing sources of standing water around your house where mosquitoes can breed. Even containers as small as a teacup can serve as a breeding ground.
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