How to prevent West Nile mosquito bites

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Earlier this week, Mississippi Department of Health issued a press release that stated a Grenada resident died from West Nile Virus.

Mosquitoes carry West Nile most commonly from birds. In some cases the insects get infected from the host and transmit the virus to humans.

Mosquitoes are often found in standing water and tall grass. “There often found in flood plains, so in ditches, road side ponds, place like that so anywhere where there are those kinds of habitats you can find these can kinds of mosquitoes," Dr. Donald Yee, USM Biology Science Professor, said.

According to Dr. Yee, the problem with West Nile is about 20 percent of people who are exposed to it will actually have symptoms. However, there is a smaller percentage of people within that 20 percent who may suffer from more complicated health issues.

“That can move into things like encephalitis, meningitis, which can cause kind of life long debilitating problems.” Yee said.

According to the MSDH residents in all counties should take the following precautions for protection against mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient such as DEET while you are outdoors.

  • Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding.

  • Wear loose, light-colored, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.

  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

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