First Death From West Nile Virus Confirmed

The first death from West Nile virus has been confirmed by the Indiana State Department of Health and the person was from Vigo County.

Jennifer House, DVM, director of zoonotic and environmental epidemiology at the Indiana State Department of Health, said the normal peak season for West Nile Virus is in August and September, but there is still a risk when it’s a little warmer outside and mosquitos are biting.

You should still take precautions to protect yourself against West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes are typically active when it is below 60 degrees and until there is a hard freeze of below 30 degrees, there is still a risk of being bitten and becoming infected with West Nile virus.

Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin and when possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.

Twenty human cases of West Nile virus have been reported and mosquito samples in 87 counties have tested positive for West Nile Virus, including Starke and Marshall Counties. In 2012, 77 human cases and eight deaths occurred in Indiana.