INDIANAPOLIS — West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitoes sampled in Vigo County, says the Indiana Department of Health.
No human cases of West Nile virus have been found in Indiana so far this year.
The Indiana Dept. of Health expects to see additional West Nile activity as mosquito season progresses.
“Many of us are looking forward to summer activities that were postponed or canceled last year, but we don’t want anyone to get sick from mosquito bites,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Hoosiers in all parts of the state should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites whenever they are outdoors.”
State health officials recommend the following preventive measures:
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn, and early morning);
- Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to clothes and exposed skin;
- Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves, and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas;
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.
Even a container as small as a bottle cap can become a mosquito breeding ground, so residents should take the following steps to eliminate potential breeding grounds:
- Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water;
- Repair failed septic systems;
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;
- Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;
- Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains;
- Frequently replace the water in pet bowls;
- Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically; and,
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with predatory fish.
About 80% of people infected with West Nile virus don’t experience any symptoms. About 20% of people will develop an illness accompanied by fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Fewer than 1% of people infected with West Nile virus will develop a severe illness affecting the nervous system. About one in 10 severe cases is fatal.
Anyone who thinks they may have West Nile virus should contact their doctor.