West Nile’s threat can’t be taken lightly

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 8, 2003

Just as warm weather was fading away — and with it what isconsidered by many the official “mosquito season” — came word thata Lincoln County woman had died of complications of the West NileVirus.

Now the family of Lottie Mae Baker Davis, who died Nov. 28, isurging other Lincoln Countians to take precautions againstmosquitoes.

“It’s changed our whole world,” said Janice Reid of Bogue Chittoof the disease that claimed her mother’s life.

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This family is now taking every precaution to check for standingwater in bird baths, ditches, cans and anywhere else it canaccumulate. They want others to do the same, because it is instanding, stagnant water that the danger lies. That is wheremosquitoes breed and thrive.

Dr. Mary Currier, an epidemiologist with the MississippiDepartment of Health, agrees that West Nile Virus awareness shouldcontinue this time of year, no matter the temperature. Yes, theseason is winding down, she said, but December infections have beenreported in the past.

Janice Reid and other members of her family are still grieving,yet their thoughts are also on the safety of their fellow LincolnCountians.

“West Nile is here to stay,” she said. “We’ll see it everyyear.”

Her hope and prayer is that no one else endures tragedy broughtby the West Nile Virus. It is ours, too.