Mississippi reports 17 more cases of West Nile virus

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Health is reporting 17 new cases of West Nile virus.

The reported cases are in Forrest (1), Hinds (2), Jones (1), Lamar (1), Lincoln (1), Lowndes (1), Marion (1), Rankin (5), Sunflower (2), and Washington (1) counties with one additional unknown county.

So far this year, the state has reported 76 cases. One of those resulted in the death of a Smith County resident.

In 2011, Mississippi had 52 cases of West Nile virus, with five deaths.

Health officials say residents should take precautions like 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.