West Nile Virus expected to get worse

(WMC-TV) - Health leaders say the West Nile Virus may be getting stronger. There have been 17 new human cases reported in Mississippi, bringing the total to more than 180 this year.

But as the temperatures get colder, are we done with the threat? The answer is 'No'.

West Nile Virus cases skyrocketed compared to past years. And doctors think the virus is getting stronger.

In Mississippi, 186 West Nile Virus cases were confirmed this year alone. Four people died. That is more than three times the number of cases reported last year, when they had 52 cases and five deaths.

In Arkansas, a record number of people have died from the virus this year. Five people died and 43 human cases were reported.

In Tennessee, 24 cases were reported. That is the most reported in Tennessee in nearly a decade and 12 of them came from Shelby County.

You should do everything you can to protect yourself until November. The potential of getting sick remains in effect through September and all of October, according to doctors.

The best ways to minimize your risk of getting bit are to remove standing water from around your home, wear bug repellent when you are outside, and wear long sleeves and long pants.

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