ADAMS COUNTY, Ind. (WOWO): State health officials confirm mosquitoes in Adams County have tested positive for the West Nile virus.
This is earlier than normal for the state; which typically holds off until mid-summer. West Nile virus is commonly found throughout the state in the summer and there will likely be an increase in activity as the season progresses.
“With this earlier than usual discovery of West Nile virus activity, Hoosiers are now at a greater risk of West Nile virus,” said Jennifer House, Director of Zoonotic and Environmental Epidemiology at the Indiana State Department of Health. “But there are many ways people can help protect themselves and their families. By following several simple, effective and important steps, they can help reduce not only mosquitoes, but mosquito bites.”
Dr. House recommends people take the following protective steps:
- If possible, avoid being outdoors during prime mosquito biting times from dusk to dawn;
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin;
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home; and
- When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants while outside.
Health officials say the West Nile virus usually causes a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. However, a small number of individuals can develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other neurological syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.
They also recommend Hoosiers take the following steps to rid their properties of potential mosquito breeding grounds:
- Discard old tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water;
- 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.