Health officials concerned over West Nile spread

The Indiana Department of Health says they are concerned about the spread of the West Nile Virus, which has recently been confirmed in our area.

West Nile Virus has been discovered in someone who lives in Johnson County and in mosquitos tested in Bartholomew County.

The Indiana Department of Health says they have also found the West Nile Virus in mosquitoes across the state. The Department also says they can’t release any more information because of privacy laws.

225 mosquito samples taken from 60 counties have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

“The risk of mosquito-borne disease remains through the first hard freeze, so it is important that Hoosiers take precautions against mosquito bites until then. Mosquito season is far from over, and simple prevention steps can help Hoosiers enjoy the outdoors without putting themselves at unnecessary risk,” said State Health Commissioner Lindsay Weaver, M.D., FACEP.

West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever, 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 are at higher risk of severe West Nile virus disease.

State health leaders recommend you do the following to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone to clothes and exposed skin
  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially early morning, late afternoon, and the hours between dusk and dawn
  • 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

Story courtesy of Network Indiana

Graphic courtesy of U.S. Centers for Disease Control