Rankin County, Mississippi Aims for Low West Nile Cases

Officials over at Mississippi’s Rankin County are glad that they only had two cases of West Nile virus infection in 2008, which was much less than last year’s 15 cases.  And they are pressed in keeping the trend as low as possible.

Rankin County’s Emergency Operations Director Bob Wedgeworth said that their goal is to maintain public health as the county and other agencies have been gathering data to determine the mosquito population, as well as screen the collected mosquitoes for any possible virus.

Spraying pesticide to kill adult mosquitoes-or adulticide-will begin in a couple of weeks, which will be conducted by spray trucks that canvas the county, then followed by a larvicide in hopes to control the spread of this mosquito-borne virus that is known to cause paralysis and even death in severe cases.  Larvicide includes pellets that are dumped into standing water.

Wedgeworth attributes the low incidence of West Nile virus infection in 2008 to the residents who have been taking proper precautions to avoid the virus.  Meanwhile, Kris New of Vector Disease Control Inc, the company contracted to conduct adulticide and larvicide in the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, claims that nature also controls many factors that caused the low WNV rate.  For instance, the amount of rainfall has decreased as well as changes in climate patterns have affected the mosquito population.

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