STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus have been found in Steuben County, the county health department announced Thursday.
The department said a pool of mosquito groups were collected on Aug. 19 in the northwestern region of the county and tested positive for the virus. To date, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported.
“West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash,” the Steuben County Health Department said. “Some individuals will develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other sever syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.”
Residents have been asked to protect themselves from mosquitos because they remain active above 60 degrees and will remain until the first hard freeze.
State health officials are recommending the following precautions:
- Avoid places where mosquitos are biting
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin
- Install or repair screens on windows ad doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home
- When possible where pants and long sleeves, especially when walking in wooded or marshy areas
To reduce potential mosquito breeding grounds:
- Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water
- Repair failed septic systems
- 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
- Frequently replace the water in pet bowls
- Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with predatory fish
Anyone who believes they may have contracted the West Nile virus is asked to consult with a physician for testing and treatment.
To see the latest results of the state’s mosquito surveillance, visit the IDOH website.