First case of West Nile Virus of 2014 reported in Indiana - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

First case of West Nile Virus of 2014 reported in Indiana

Posted:
INDIANAPOLIS— State health officials announced the first human case of West Nile virus in Indiana today after a Porter County resident tested positive for the virus. Officials encourage Hoosiers to take steps to protect themselves from the virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.
 
In addition to the human case, mosquitoes in 18 counties have tested positive for the virus so far this year. Those counties include: Allen, DeKalb, Delaware, Dubois, Greene, Hamilton, Howard, Jefferson, LaGrange, Lake, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pike, Rush, Steuben, Sullivan and Vanderburgh. Officials say that even though the virus has not tested positive in the other counties precautions should be made to prevent mosquito bites.
 
“This is the time of the year when Hoosiers are at a risk of getting West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne viruses,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D.  in a press release.“You can prevent these diseases by taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”
 
State health officials recommend the following preventative measures:
  • 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; and,
  • When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.
 
Health officials say the West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness. Syndromes of West Nile fever include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals develop a more severe form of the disease that can cause more severe syndromes.
 
Below are a list of preventative measures officials recommend to 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; and,
  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.
 If you think you may have West Nile virus, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
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