Fighting West Nile in Harrison County

Many areas of South Mississippi have seen rain today, but it’s the aftermath of what happens with standing water after the storm passes that poses the most threat when it comes to the West Nile Virus.

Harrison County Mosquito Control Director Gene Fayard and his crew roll out daily with a battle plan. They work year round to fog, trap, and drive down the mosquito population in the county and with it the diseases mosquitoes carry. Tuesday morning, they targeted West Gulfport, the site of the first reported case of the West Nile Virus in Harrison County. “It is west of 25th Avenue, south of Pass Road, that’s where we’re concentrating. Door to door, letting people know there was a positive human case in the area and we’re doing what we can to combat it,” said Fayard.

The first confirmed case of West Nile in the county was reported Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, the State Department of Health confirmed a second case in Harrison County, bringing the state total to 27 cases of West Nile reported in Mississippi this year. Hinds County in Central Mississippi is saturated with the most West Nile cases with ten confirmed so far. Jackson, Stone, and Hancock counties have no reported cases as of yet.

Rainy weather like this makes for an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus after the storm is over, especially in areas that collect standing water. Tuesday morning’s rain did not help matters. Crews cannot effectively fog in rainy weather, but Harrison County Mosquito Control rolled out in full force as soon as the rain stopped. “If you have any standing water in your yard, buckets, children’s toys, anything that will hold water you want to dump that out.  Put screens on your windows; make sure you have screens on your windows, screens on the doors if you’re going to keep them open. Use a repellent, use something with Deet in it. If people hear the trucks coming or see the truck, if you go inside for a few minutes, let them do their job.”

A job they do year round to keep workers and residents in the county safe.

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Health, Local News, News

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