First West Nile virus case of 2022 in Indiana reported in Lake County
INDIANAPOLIS (WNDU) - Indiana state health officials are urging you to protect yourselves after the first West Nile virus case of 2022 was detected in a person from Lake County.
Health officials also say West Nile virus has been detected in a sample of mosquitoes collected from Steuben County.
The Indiana Department of Health expects to continue to see additional West Nile virus activity as the mosquito season progresses, so health officials are recommending the following measures to prevent mosquito-borne diseases when venturing outside:
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning);
- Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to clothes and exposed skin
- Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas
State health officials are also urging that you take the precautions to reduce the risk of mosquito breeding sites forming at your home and reduce your risk to exposure:
- Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold stagnant water;
- Repair failed septic systems;
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;
- Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains;
- Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;
- Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically;
- Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.
- Frequently replace the water in pet bowls
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home
The Indiana Department of Health says most people who are infected with West Nile virus will not develop symptoms, but those who do may experience a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands, or a rash.
Some people will develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system, including inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis, or even death. People older than 60 years and those with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of developing severe disease.
If you think you may have West Nile virus, you should see your healthcare provider.
To see the latest results of the state’s mosquito surveillance, go to https://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo/.
To learn more about West Nile virus, click here.
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