The West Nile outbreak in Mississippi continues to grow, with new cases including a death, reported Thursday.
The Mississippi State Department of Health reported nine new cases of the virus, bringing the total in the state so far this year to 85.
A second death was reported in Lincoln County. This is the largest West Nile outbreak in a decade in Mississippi. Local health officials say we need to be on alert.
"The mosquito that carries the West Nile virus especially comes out in the mornings and evenings, so it's especially critical if we are going to be outside in the morning and evening, to cover our arms, to wear long sleeves, to spray with a spray that contains DEET," said the health department's Dr. Rebecca James. "Because that's the best mosquito repellent there is."
Last year, there were only 52 cases of the virus reported all year long in Mississippi, with five deaths.
August and September are generally the peak times for the virus.