INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For the first time this season, mosquitoes in Marion County have tested positive for the West Nile virus.
The Marion County Public Health Department made the announcement Tuesday and said its mosquito control program will now increase its prevention efforts in the areas where the mosquitoes were found.
The health department says no human cases of the West Nile virus have been reported in the county so far this year, but two cases were reported last year.
Officials with the Hamilton County Health Department also announced Tuesday that West Nile virus was detected in mosquitoes in their county.
Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms, according to the CDC. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and kidney disease are at greater risk experiencing symptoms which include headache, body aches, joint pains or rash. Less than one percent of those infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.
To help prevent bites and reduce the mosquito population, the health department encourages everyone to follow the four Ds:
- DUSK – Stay indoors from dusk until dawn. If you do spend time outdoors…
- DRESS – Wear long sleeves and long pants when outside during these times.
- DEET – Use insect repellent containing DEET or other EPA-approved active ingredients.
- DRAINAGE – Remove all standing water outside the home.
Everyone is encouraged to walk around their home or property and look for areas of standing water where mosquitoes are most likely to breed. Residents should empty water from containers of any size and flush out bird baths every week. Plus, check for standing water in unused tires, clogged gutters, small recreational pools, and from poorly operating septic systems.
For questions about mosquito prevention, call the Marion County Public Health Department’s Mosquito Control program at (317) 221-7440.