HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (Aug. 18, 2015) – The first human case of West Nile virus has been found in Huntington County, state health officials said.
Mosquitoes in 27 counties have tested positive for the virus so far, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. Those counties include: Allen, Blackford, Boone, Clark, Clinton, Crawford, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Floyd, Fulton, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion, Marshall, Miami, Montgomery, Morgan, Orange, Perry, Ripley, Shelby, Vanderburgh, Vigo, Wabash and Wells.
State health officials urge Hoosiers to take measures to protect themselves against mosquitoes. Some of those measures include:
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (late afternoon and dusk to dawn and early morning)
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to clothes and exposed skin
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home
West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness that can include symptoms like fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. In some cases it could develop into a more severe form with encephalitis or meningitis, leading to paralysis or death.
Hoosiers should take precautions to eliminate or reduce potential mosquito 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
- Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish