Fighting the Bite

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A fifth person apparently infected with West Nile virus has turned up in Alabama. A top state official said more are likely. The latest victim lives in Montgomery County. All five patients in Alabama are recovering.

Meanwhile, here in Mississippi, city and county officials from across the state met with health experts to discuss ways to fight the virus.

The meeting was set up via satellite link at community colleges, including Meridian Community College. The state department of health answered questions about how to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. Local officials said it was very beneficial.

State health officer Dr. Ed Thompson said during the teleconference that the outbreak is likely to last another six weeks to two months. Extended Web Coverage

Mosquito Protection Tips

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats and boots to reduce exposed skin.

  • Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.

  • Apply repellent liberally to all exposed skin areas.

  • Apply repellents to clothing, shoes, tents, mosquito nets, and other gear.

  • Use mosquito coils (ensure coils do not contain DDT).

  • Sleep in well-screened areas whenever possible.

  • Ensure that door and window screens fit tightly and do not have holes.

  • Insect repellents that contain 30-35 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) will provide adults with sufficient protection. The concentration of DEET in a repellent should not exceed 35 percent. Products with lower concentrations of DEET are effective but for a shorter period of time.

  • Reducing the amount of standing water on your property can significantly decrease the potential for mosquito breeding around your home.

  • Common breeding sites may include garbage cans, clogged roof gutters/drainage ditches, birdbaths, pool covers, flowerpots, tires, tarps, rainwater barrels, wading pools etc.

  • Containers that may accumulate water should be removed or holes drilled in the bottom.

  • Pools should be maintained and ornamental pools aerated or stocked with fish.

Source: contributed to this report.