Mississippi investigates first case of chikungunya

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HORN LAKE, Miss. -- Horn Lake Public Works Director Spencer Shields says so far, it’s been a pretty mild mosquito season.

But he also believes that’s about to change, fast.

”With the humidity as high as it is and the temperature up in the 90s, the water standing on the ground will stagnate, and then you’re gonna have a population of mosquitoes picking up some.”

That’s a special concern after Mississippi health officials began investigating their first case of the chikungunya virus.

Mosquitoes carry the bug and infect humans when they bite. Symptoms include painful, swollen joints, and there’s no really effective treatment or cure.

The Mississippi patient just returned from the Carribbean, where doctors believe they were infected.

But they and others around the state want to make sure it doesn’t spread.

Horn Lake isn’t wasting any time. They have their fogger truck ready to start spraying right away.

Shields says he’ll first target Horn Lake’s most vulnerable neighborhood.

”We started up today, got our machine out and got it ready to go and we’ll start spraying in the twin lakes area Wednesday night.”

He says spraying will continue twice a week, and take about two weeks to cover the whole city before he starts over again.

As always, Shields and other experts advise all of us to remain on the lookout for standing water around our homes, and make sure to pour it out, and take away a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes.

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