Be proactive in West Nile fight

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, September 1, 2012

Warren County began drying out Friday from Hurricane Isaac. No major damage was reported. No one was seriously injured in the storm — and we are grateful for that.

The storm inundated Warren County with upward of 4 inches of rain. Combined with an already soggy ground, the chances of water collecting in puddles is likely.

If action has not been taken, it should now. Walk your property today, find anything holding water — old tires, children’s swimming pools, toys and the like — and immediately empty those objects. In addition to the storm, Mississippi has been entrenched in one of the worst West Nile outbreaks on record. Mosquitoes acquire the disease by biting infected fowl, then transmit the disease to other animals and humans. Through Friday, one case of West Nile had been reported from Warren County. Statewide, 104 cases of West Nile have been reported to the Mississippi Department of Health.

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A storm that dumps copious amounts of rain and a mosquito population spreading West Nile is a perfect match. Mosquitoes will flock to areas with standing water, increasing one’s chances of getting bitten or even stricken with West Nile.

Take prudent steps now. Heed warnings to wear insect repellent when outdoors. Even suffer in the heat with long pants and long-sleeve shirts. But also be proactive by finding areas that have, or could have, standing water and remedy the problem before it becomes one.

We have not heard the last of the 2012 West Nile outbreak in our state. One case has been reported and we hope that is the last from our county. Small steps can be taken to help alleviate West Nile here. Take them.