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County, city plan mosquito battle

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Aug. 21, 2002
Lauderdale County officials plan to use two new foggers to spray for mosquitoes near schools beginning this weekend.
Lauderdale County Emergency Management Director Clarence Butler said Tuesday that two new foggers have been ordered at a cost of $7,500 each. The machines will be mounted on pickup trucks.
Butler said the county hopes to have at least one of the foggers delivered by Thursday and said there are no plans to purchase additional vehicles to spray with.
In Meridian, city council members voted Tuesday to spend $20,000 to purchase a fogger and chemicals to help fight mosquitoes. The city sprays from 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. every week night.
The city and county moves are the latest in an attempt to control mosquitoes, the source of West Nile Virus. The mosquito-borne disease has been identified in a dead bird recently found in the county.
Statewide, Mississippi has reported 64 cases of West Nile Virus, including three deaths. The latest death was reported Tuesday, a Pike County resident who had been hospitalized with West Nile.
State health officer Dr. Ed Thompson has declined to release the gender and age of the deceased for fear of identification.
Butler said that the cost of the insecticide for the fogger varies among suppliers.
The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency Monday so that it could quickly order supplies to help kill mosquitoes without having to open the purchase to bids.
Butler met with Lauderdale County Engineer Neal Carson and members of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to map out a plan of attack.
He said the extent of the spraying on a regular basis has not been determined yet.
County officials are also hoping cooler weather will move in about six weeks from now and kill off mosquitoes.