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Take extra precautions already for summer bugs

The first human case of West Nile Virus has arrived in Mississippi.

Last year the Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed 38 West Nile sicknesses and one death.

This year’s first reported case is in Lamar County. While that’s not terribly close to Lafayette County, that means mosquitoes that are carrying the virus are here and biting.

Now that the weather is nice and people are out and about mowing yards, preparing flower beds, having cookouts with friends or just sitting outside enjoying the fresh air, everyone needs to take precautions.

It’s especially alarming that we already have a case even though it isn’t quite peak season.

“While WNV can occur any time of the year, we see the bulk of our cases during peak season, which is July through September,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “Now that school is out and the weather is warm, it is time to be extremely vigilant when going outdoors.”

The health department recommends removing standing water on your property, using a mosquito repellent that contains DEET and wearing loose, light clothing when outdoors. Above all, avoid areas where you already know the blood-suckers are present.