City’s mosquito trucks keep West Nile Virus out of county

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The West Nile Virus is nothing to take lightly, even if 80 percent of those who have the infection have little to no symptoms.

This year there have already been eight more cases reported (51) than the entire year of 2016 (43).

This number continues to steadily increase around the state, but so far there have been zero cases reported in Pearl River County.

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A large factor of this is because of the constant precautions the cities make to prevent an overpopulation of mosquitoes in any area within the county.

It seems like every other day, the buzzing noise of a mosquito truck passes through the neighborhood streets of Picayune, with a trail of fog behind it, to prevent these virus carrying bugs from spreading the infection to residents.

These trucks travel the city’s roads in the evening hours, when mosquitoes are most active, and are not harmful to humans, pets or the environment, according to the U.S. department of Health and Human Services.

What the spray does is immediately kill flying mosquitoes and kill mosquito larvae to prevent the bug from spreading any virus like the West Nile Virus and Zika.

The cases reported of West Nile Virus infections have not crossed the county line, but they are getting closer, with four cases reported in Forrest County, just northeast of Pearl River County.

Although these trucks prevent a lot of virus-carrying mosquitoes from entering the county, it does not take care of all of them.

To prevent becoming infected with West Nile Virus, the Mississippi State Department of Health suggests using mosquito repellent with DEET, wear baggy, light-colored long sleeve shirts and long pants, avoid standing water at all costs while outdoors and be aware of the many symptoms that accompany the infection. Those include fever, headache, nausea, muscle weakness and a rash.