Mississippians take precautions against Zika virus

Mississippians take precautions against Zika virus

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Concern over the Zika Virus continues to grow, with cases confirmed in 14 states.

Although Mississippi isn't one of them, experts say precautions need to be taken to prevent the virus.

"We live in South Mississippi. It's not going to ignore us," said Joe Coppole, Ocean Springs resident.

Sam Stines with Mosquito Control Services put traps out in Jackson and Hancock Counties to monitor the mosquito population. He says the type of mosquito that carries Zika is common on the Coast.

"It's concerning to us because it's a mosquito that's hard for us to help out with," said Stines. "It's in everybody's back yard."

The mosquitoes - container breeders. They grow in stagnant water in anything as small as a bottle cap, to a large bucket. Keeping the threat of Zika low comes down to eliminating as much standing water as possible.

"It takes about seven days for a mosquito to go from an egg to an adult," said Stines. "If you were able to flush out bird baths and those kinds of things once a week, then you would be doing a lot of good for your community."

Stines doesn't think Zika will see a widespread impact since the disease is only transmitted from people to mosquitoes.

"It's not in the bird population or anything," said Stines. "It has to bite a person then replicate inside itself, and then bite another person."

Joe Coppole plans to do whatever he can to prevent Zika or any other mosquito borne illness from popping up in his neighborhood.

"I am going to take precautions because it's the sensible thing to do," said Coppole.

For more information on Zika or to receive help controlling mosquitoes in Jackson and Hancock Counties visit: http://mosquitocs.com/. For more information about mosquito control in Harrison County visit: http://co.harrison.ms.us/departments/mosquito%20control/.

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