8x greater chance of contracting West Nile in MS - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

8x greater chance of contracting West Nile in MS

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Seven different pools of mosquitoes infected with the West Nile Virus have been discovered in Tennessee this spring.

For many, that is a large number of the biting bugs carrying the potentially deadly virus. But if you think West Nile is bad in the Volunteer State, just across the line in Mississippi the numbers are unusually higher.

If it is anything like it was in 2012, you have a far greater chance of contracting West Nile in Mississippi. If the numbers so far in 2013 are anything like last year, your chances would be almost eight times greater in Mississippi than in Tennessee.

MORE: West Nile carrying mosquitoes found in Shelby County: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/22196951/schd-mosquito-spray-schedule-and-tips

MORE: SCHD mosquito spray schedule and tips: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/22187296/west-nile-carrying-mosquitoes-found-in-shelby-county

In Tennessee in 2012 there were 33 West Nile cases and one death, but contrast that to Mississippi, where there were 247 West Nile cases and five deaths.

"My personal opinion being an outdoorsman is that we have more water and more swamp area, and especially in the middle part of the state and over in the Delta, we hold a lot more water than anybody else," said DeSoto County Supervisor Harvey Lee. "We have three major rivers that are here, especially the Coldwater that drains a lot of water out of flood season. So we've got plenty of swamp here."

If anything last year, DeSoto county got lucky with only three cases reported in 2012. But chances aren't being taken. Countywide spraying began three weeks ago.

"We're doing something different. We've put another truck out later at night, and he'll be spraying until 1 o'clock in the morning," Lee said. "More people are inside and they are not out on their front porches, plus you got the mosquitoes that usually get more active more late at night, that is what we have discovered."
The first case of the virus this year was recorded in Mississippi almost a month ago in the central part of the state. That's a very early start to the West Nile season.

With the excessive amount of rain that has already fallen this spring, some say the bugs are going to multiply quickly.  

"Get ready. I think that we are going to have a big skeeter season so be ready for that," Lee said.

Lee said if you have a problem with mosquitoes in your neighborhood, you can call the DeSoto County Road Department at 1-662-429-1466 and they will get a truck to your neighborhood as quickly as they can.

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