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West Nile threat remains in fall

Fall may have officially arrived but, like summer’s heat, mosquitoes and the West Nile virus they can transmit are still here.

Just recently a new case was reported in Marion County. So far this year, human cases of WNV have been reported in Calhoun, Chickasaw, Copiah (two), Hinds (six), Grenada, Lamar (two), Lee, Leflore, Lincoln, Lowndes, Marion (two), Perry and Rankin counties. There has been one WNV death reported in a Hinds County resident.

Last year, the state saw 38 WNV cases and one death.

As temperatures begin to drop, mosquitoes will be less of a problem. But until then, protect yourself by following these tips from the Department of Health:

• Avoid mosquitoes whenever possible. Stay indoors or take personal protective measures, especially between dusk and dawn, which are peak mosquito biting times.

  Use mosquito repellent with DEET. Products with up to 30 percent DEET will provide adequate protection under most conditions.

• Wear long-sleeved, long-legged clothing with socks and shoes when practical.

  Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.

  Remove all discarded tires on the property. Used tires have become the most common mosquito breeding site in the country.

• Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.

• Change the water in bird baths frequently

Close garbage can lids. Be sure water does not collect in the bottom of garbage cans.