The Mississippi Department of Health has reported a new human case of the West Nile virus in Madison County.
The number increases the total human cases in Mississippi in 2007 to four. Other cases have been reported in Scott, Lawrence and Walthall counties.
In 2006, 184 cases were reported with 13 deaths.
To reduce the risk of contracting West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, health officials recommend:
• Drain or dump any source of standing water around the home;
• Dispose of containers and debris which can collect or hold water;
• Remove all leaf debris;
• Dispose of used tires;
• Clean rain gutters and swimming pools;
• Change the water in bird baths weekly;
• Use over-the-counter larvaciding products that can be purchased at home improvement stores;
• Eliminate pools of standing, stagnant water, especially with organic debris;
• Repair damaged or torn window and door screens that stay open;
• Remove outdoor pet food and water dishes that are not being used;
• Close garbage can lids and be sure water does not collect in the bottom of the cans; and
• Check around construction sites to ensure that proper backfilling and grading prevent drainage problems.