The Indiana State
Department of Health (ISDH) is urging Indiana residents to take steps to
protect themselves from mosquito bites as the state begins to see West Nile
virus activity in mosquitoes.
As of June 27,
mosquitoes in Elkhart County and Carroll County have tested positive for
West Nile virus. No human cases of West Nile virus disease have been
detected in 2018, but ISDH expects to continue to see increased West Nile
activity throughout the state as the mosquito season progresses.
“We see cases of
West Nile virus disease in Indiana every year,” State Health Commissioner
Kris Box said. “When we find evidence of the virus in multiple counties,
that means the risk is starting to increase statewide. Hoosiers in every
county should be taking precautions against mosquito-borne diseases.”
officials recommend the following preventive measures:
* 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.
* Install or repair
screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.
Even a container as
small as a bottle cap can become a mosquito breeding ground, so residents
should take the following steps to eliminate potential breeding grounds:
* Discard old
tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water.
* Repair failed
* 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.
replace the water in pet bowls.
* Flush ornamental
fountains and birdbaths periodically.
* Aerate ornamental
pools, or stock them with predatory fish.
West Nile virus can
cause West Nile fever, 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 who think they may have West Nile virus should see their