West Nile Virus Found In Stagnant Water In Moss Point

"This is all standing water," one mosquito inspector said as she sprayed for the bugs.

On July 11th, inspectors randomly tested water pools on Jasmine Street in Moss Point. The West Nile Virus was found in one of those pools.

"It's part of their contract that they go out and sample random areas. It's pretty common for them to do that. It's for this reasoning, that they found something. Now we can stop it in the process instead of letting it spread before it's caught," Jackson County Civil Defense Director Butch Loper said.

Stopping the virus means getting rid of stagnant water.

"Ditches are holding water because the water can't flow," the inspector said.

Clogged ditches, empty trash cans, even blown up swimming pools are all mosquito breeding hot spots.

The Department of Health won't release exactly where on Jasmine Street the virus was found. Now, they're scouring a five-block area, looking for any additional breeding grounds.

The longer the water sits, the more likely you'll have mosquitoes. Mosquito inspectors are busy spraying down the streets and taking samples. But Butch Loper says it's time local residents help too.

"If everyone gets involved and everyone polices their little area, then we're policing a large area as a group and it will help solve many issues from coming," Loper said.

Moss Point leaders say they've dispatched crews to take care of that neighborhood's overgrown ditches. But checking your yard for water-holding containers and standing puddles could save a West Nile situation from forming near you.

Mosquito spraying in Moss Point will be done for the next three nights. Officials say the public should not panic, but instead take measures to make sure your yard is not a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

People with the virus often have flu-like symptoms, but no cases of West Nile in humans have been detected in Jackson County at this time.