State health officials recommend taking steps against mosquitoes to minimize the risk of West Nile Virus.

TUPELO As folks across Northeast Mississippi organize hot dogs, hamburgers and fireworks for their Independence day picnics and barbecues, they need to take precautions against tiny uninvited guests.

July traditionally marks the beginning of West Nile Virus season. The mosquito-borne virus is most active through September; however, the virus can be transmitted any time of the year.

Each year, state health officials stress that West Nile virus has been found in every part of the state, and that residents can’t assume they are safe because there have been no human cases reported in their county.

No human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported so far this year. However, over the past two years, there have been 113 cases and two deaths attributed to West Nile Virus in Mississippi.

Symptoms of West Nile infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.

What you need to know:

  • Use mosquito repellent when outdoors.
  • Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to reduce mosquito breeding.
  • Wear loose, light-colored clothing to cover arms and legs outdoors.
  • When possible, avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.
  • Find out more at or

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