So far, the number of West Nile virus cases in Mississippi has almost quadrupled last year's total. Only nine human cases of the virus were reported in 2010.
Since May 2011 there have already been 33 cases reported. Two of those have resulted in deaths.
District health officer, Dr. Rebecca James says mosquitoes flourish in dirty, standing water that is hot. She says murky conditions caused by extended dry periods this summer has likely led to the increase.
"So when you have a drought and you have a creek or a pool or a pond, or something like that, and it tends to go down and the water gets sludgier, those mosquitoes love that kind of water," said James. "So, that makes it worse."
Symptoms for the mosquito-born virus include: fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and rashes.
For prevention, James says it's important to avoid being outside during peak mosquito periods. that's the early morning and evening hours. If outside during those times she says you should wear long sleeves and mosquito repellent.
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