Miss. officials report 1st West Nile cases of 2012

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Health Department is reporting two human cases of West Nile virus, the first confirmed cases in the state for 2012.

The cases are in Lauderdale and Hancock counties. Mississippi had 52 cases and five deaths from West Nile virus last year.

The Health Department also has found mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile in Forrest, Pike and Lincoln counties.

Health officials say that indicates the virus is circulating in Mississippi.

Residents are encouraged take precautions to reduce the risk by removing sources of standing water where mosquitoes breed and to wear long pants and sleeves in mosquito-prone areas during peak times from dusk until dawn. Mosquito repellent is also recommended.