The Mississippi State Department of Health's weekly update released Monday includes a case in Tippah County among six total new cases. It has been a record year for reported cases in Mississippi, with a total of 242 and five of those resulting in deaths. The state also saw five deaths in 2011 but from a much smaller number of total cases 52.
This year, Alcorn County has had two mosquito-borne illnesses reported in horses but none in humans. West Nile is more common in the central and southern counties of the state.
MSDH notes that West Nile can occur year-round, so it s still a good idea to take precautions.
The City of Corinth did its part to fight the bite by spraying insecticide from early in the season up until the first frost.
We really hit them hard this year, said Street Commissioner Jim Bynum. We sprayed around the ditches, sewer lagoons, and any place that there were a lot of garbage containers close together where insects would collect.
July to September are the peak months for the flu-like West Nile, which often has mild symptoms including fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle weakness and swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.
To curtail mosquitos, MSDH said residents should remove sources of standing water, especially after rainfall; install screens on windows and doors; and wear protective clothing and use repellents during peak times from dusk until dawn.