This summer’s above average amount of rainfall has been ideal for mosquito breeding. According to state health officials, West Nile Virus has been confirmed in almost 10 Indiana counties. The virus has only been spotted in mosquito samples and no avian or human infections have been reported or confirmed thus far. Continue reading
The first human case of West Nile virus has been confirmed in Porter County.
Mosquitoes in 18 counties have tested positive for the virus so far this year. Marshall County is one of the 18 counties, according to the Indiana Department of Health. West Nile virus may be circulating in all 92 counties and you should take precautions to protect yourself against contracting the virus.
The West Nile virus has been confirmed in mosquitoes in Marshall County but no human cases have been reported. The best way to protect yourself from mosquitoes is to avoid being outdoors during peak biting times which occur from the evening to early morning hours. If you need to be outside, apply mosquito repellent with DEET or wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors. Continue reading
Mosquitoes in Marshall County have tested positive for West Nile virus, but no human cases have been reported.
State health officials say mosquitoes in Pike County have also tested positive and they expect more to be found throughout the summer months. Officials indicate that it’s impossible to predict the severity of this year’s West Nile virus season as temperatures and rainfall determine the level of mosquito populations.
The recent rain means we will most likely see an increase in the number of these insects in the area. Mosquitoes thrive in hot and humid weather. They are also attracted to wetlands and wooded areas. The best way to avoid the dreaded mosquito bite is to dress in protective clothing when outdoors and to use insect repellent. However the biggest risk with mosquitoes is contracting West Nile Virus. Continue reading
In extreme cases, mosquito-borne diseases can be spread through a bite including West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever and Malaria. With the game preserve and state park in the area, the concentration of insects is high.
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.
The Indiana State Department of Health collected and tested nearly 120,000 mosquitoes from all 92 counties for West Nile virus and Saint Louis encephalitis. No mosquitoes tested positive for the Saint Louis encephalitis.
No human cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed in Indiana, though three counties have confirmed the presence of West Nile virus pools of mosquitoes. Allen, Adams and Hamilton counties reported to the State Department of Health that they’ve found mosquitoes that have tested positive for the virus, though no human cases have been found in the state.
The detection of West Nile is earlier than normal for the state. It’s commonly found throughout the state in the summer and there will likely be an increase in activity as the season progresses.
Most people who get infected with West Nile virus do not show any symptoms, though some people develop a mild illness called West Nile Fever. This mild illness gets better on its own; no treatment is necessary. However, a small number of people – that is, less than 1 in 100 – who get infected with West Nile virus develop severe symptoms such as headache, high fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, tremors, convulsions, coma, and paralysis.
The West Nile virus has been detected in Pulaski County.
Four out of ten mosquito pools located near the Winamac Waste Water Treatment Plant have tested positive for the virus.
Pulaski County Health Department Health Nurse Andrea Keller urges residents to prevent mosquito problems around their home or neighborhood by disposing of any water-filled containers around the property and removing leaves and debris from gutters. Plastic wading pools and wheel barrows should be turned over when not in use. Don’t allow water to become stagnant in birdbaths and stock ornamental ponds with fish.
Health officials have announced that four human cases of West Nile virus statewide, with cases reported in Hamilton, Marion, and Jackson counties. While no cases have been confirmed in LaPorte, Starke, Marshall, Pulaski, or other nearby counties, Hoosiers are still encouraged to take steps to protect themselves from West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne viruses. Transmission of the virus within the mosquito population is currently much higher than in previous years: so far in 2012, mosquitoes carrying the virus have been found in 62 Indiana counties.
State health officials recommend Hoosiers avoid places where mosquitoes are biting; apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus 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.
First signs of West Nile virus activity in Indiana have already been confirmed – a full month sooner than last year. Mosquitoes in Orange County have tested positive for the virus, considerably earlier than the first positive mosquitoes found last year in Mid-July. State health officials say it’s not possible to predict the severity of this year’s West Nile virus season, as temperatures and rainfall will have an impact. Last year, the virus was found in mosquitoes in 34 counties.
Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch has a number of tips for those looking to avoid mosquitoes.
“Big thing is to just be insect repellant when you’re outdoors, try to avoid mosquito-infested areas around dusk to dawn – that’s when they’re most prevalent, use your repellant, screens on the windows and doors, and any standing water – bird baths, puddles, anything like that – try to keep those cleaned out as best as possible,” said Lynch.