West Nile-infected mosquitoes found in Rankin County - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

West Nile-infected mosquitoes found in Rankin County

RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Rankin County’s Mosquito Abatement program, operated by Vector Disease Control International (VDCI), has detected the first West Nile Virus-positive mosquito pool of 2015 in Rankin County. 

The positive mosquitoes were trapped in Supervisor District 2 (Reservoir Area), and VDCI has taken aggressive action in the affected area by increasing its mosquito surveillance, expanding larviciding efforts, and increasing other activities.  There have been no reported cases of infected persons in Rankin County yet in 2015. 

The two primary species that can transmit West Nile virus to people and horses are called Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex restuans.

Tim Nelson, program manager for Rankin County’s mosquito abatement program explains, “Culex mosquito populations tend to increase as the summer temperatures escalate, which is also when we usually see the first West Nile virus-positive mosquito pools. We’ve been expecting this, and are prepared to deal with the situation accordingly. The early detection of WNV in mosquitoes is one of the primary reasons for our comprehensive adult mosquito surveillance program.  We have mosquito traps throughout the County that are checked every week during the season in order to determine which control activities need to be undertaken in given areas."

Rankin County Emergency Operations and VDCI recommend taking the following precautions:

  • - Use insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon eucalyptus, and be careful to follow label directions.
  • - Wear-loose fitting, light-colored clothing.  Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks.
  • - Minimize outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • - Make sure that all screens on doors and windows are in good condition and fit tightly.
  • - Encourage neighbors and family members to exercise these precautions.
  • - Eliminate standing water around your property and encourage neighbors to do the same.
  • - Keep grass and weeds cut in order to minimize resting places for adult mosquitoes.

West Nile virus can be transmitted to humans, horses and other animals by infected mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes are infected when they bite infected birds, which are the primary hosts of WNV. 

Most people bitten by West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes experience either no symptoms, or possibly a short period of mild flu-like symptoms.  Symptoms of human West Nile virus infections typically begin within 14 days following the insect bite and consist of low-grade fever, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, and headaches.  In rare but severe cases, symptoms can include high fever, neck pain, severe headache, a rash on the torso, and disorientation, which may be signs of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).  If such symptoms occur, seek immediate medical attention. 

There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus infection; avoiding mosquito bites and a comprehensive integrated mosquito management program is the best prevention.  

If you have any questions about mosquitos or West Nile Virus, please contact VDCI at 769-572-5708.

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