West Nile virus on the rise in several counties, Allen County included

"Mosquito" by Tom, some rights reserved

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WOWO) – Mosquitoes in 43 counties have tested positive for the West Nile virus, including those tested in Allen County.

Of 182 samples of mosquitoes tested in Allen County, 43 were found positive for the virus, which is a significant increase compared to last year.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that have first bitten an infected bird. Those who contract the disease will have mild symptoms such as headache, fever, dizziness and fatigue, but severe cases can occur which could cause a coma or sometimes death.

People over the age of 50 and those with compromised immune systems are at the greatest risk for serious illness or death.

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health wants to warn residents to continue to wear insect repellent when outdoors until the first hard freeze. Other important steps to take include:

  • Checking your property for breeding sites. Eliminate any sources of standing water, clean out gutters and birdbaths, and properly dispose of tires. Maintain swimming pools and hot tubs, and make sure septic tanks, rain barrels and garbage cans are covered at all times.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.
  • Limit time spent outdoors during peak mosquito biting times.
  • When possible, wear loose, light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.

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