West Nile Virus found in St. Joseph County

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 4:31 PM EDT
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Officials with the St. Joseph County Department of Health say that a pool of West Nile Virus positive mosquitoes has been identified in northeastern Mishawaka.

St. Joseph County is one of nine counties in Indiana where mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been found so far in 2022. There has been a recent increase in West Nile Virus activity, and it is expected that it will be increasingly identified in the Michiana area throughout the remainder of the summer and until the first hard frost.

There are no identified cases of human infection with West Nile Virus in the county.

The St. Joseph County Department of Health encourages you to take the following steps to protect you and your family from mosquitoes:

  • Avoid being outdoors during prime mosquito biting times - dusk to dawn - when possible.
  • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-methane-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.
  • Treat clothing and outdoor gear with 0.5% permethrin if camping or spending extended periods of time outdoors. • Make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding on and around your property.

To reduce mosquito breeding, homeowners can take these actions:

  • Get rid of old tires, tin cans, or other containers that can hold water. Even a small bucket that has stagnant water in it for seven days can become home to up to 1,000 mosquitoes.
  • Tip bird baths, pet bowls, flowerpots, and other water-holding containers weekly and refill with clean water.
  • Repair failed septic systems.
  • Keep rain barrels covered with wire mesh smaller than adult mosquitoes.
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed.
  • Clean roof gutters (roof gutters are easily overlooked but can produce millions of mosquitoes each season).
  • Flush ornamental fountains weekly and aerate ornamental pools or stock them with top-feeding minnows.
  • Keep swimming pools cleaned and chlorinated.
  • Drain and fill stagnant pools, puddles, ditches, or swampy places around the home and property.

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