City Arms for West Nile

West Nile Virus
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The city of Meridian has approved the purchase of another mosquito-sprayer and the use of chemicals to augment existing efforts to combat West Nile Virus.

Ken Storms, the Meridian's chief administrative officer says the spraying equipment kills adult mosquitoes but chemicals kill the larvae.

"We're in the process and just ordered today in fact some more of this larvacide," said Storms. "They're pellets that we put down in stagnant water areas to kill the larvae of mosquitoes."

He said it will be used on both public and private property.

"We've been cleared by the department of health that this is a health issue and so we will be able to go on private property in order to do this," said Storms. "I'm talking about ditches that flow through private property. I'm not talking about individual flowerbeds and little fishing areas in people's back yards, little ponds and things like that they have for decoration. We can't do that."

Storms has been studying a booklet supplied by the state health department. Storms said the anti-mosquito campaign will not be a one-time thing.

"It's going to be a campaign that's going to continue each and every year," said Storms. "It will continue even after we feel safe about it. It's just something we feel like we need to stay ahead of." Extended Web Coverage

West Nile virus Facts

  • The West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) in humans and other animals.

  • The virus is named after the West Nile region of Uganda where it was first isolated in1937.

  • The virus appeared for the first time in the United States during a 1999 outbreak in New York that killed seven people.

How is the West Nile virus Spread?

  • The virus is spread to humans, birds and other animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.

  • A mosquito becomes infected by biting a bird that is carrying the virus.

  • West Nile virus is not spread from person to person, and no evidence indicates the virus can be spread directly from birds to humans.

  • Only a small population of mosquitoes are likely to be infected and most people bitten by an infected mosquito do not become sick.

  • 1 in 300 people bitten by an infected mosquito get sick.

  • 1 in 100-150 who get sick become seriously ill.

  • 3 to 15 percent of those seriously ill die.

Symptoms of the Virus

  • The symptoms generally appear about 3 to 6 days after exposure. People over the age of 50 are at a greater risk of severe illness.

  • Milder symptoms include: Slight fever, headache, body aches, swollen glands and/or sometimes a skin rash.

  • Severe symptoms include: High fever, intense headache, stiff neck, and/or confusion.

Protecting Yourself

  • Control mosquitoes from breeding around your home.

  • Wear long and light colored clothing.

  • Use insect repellent products with no ore than 20-30 percent DEET for adults and less than 10 percent for children.

  • Spray repellent on your hands and then apply to your face. Be sure repellent is safe for human skin.

  • Wash off repellent daily and reapply as needed.

Source: contributed to this report