Deadly mosquito virus low threat in Allen County

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Health officials are encouraging you to stay vigilant when it comes to mosquitoes, despite summer being almost over.

The State Department of Health announced a human contraction of EEE in LaPorte County, and three horses contracting the virus in Kosciusko and LaGrange Counties.

Health officials warned all northern Indiana counties to take precautions. In Allen County, the health department says your risk of contracting EEE is low.

“The main carrier of Eastern equine encephalitis in not found here in Allen County. We don’t have the environmental conditions for that type of mosquito,” said Allen County Health Department Director of Environmental Services David Fiess.

Fiess says northern counties have bogs that contribute to having the main carrier. Those bogs are not in Allen County.

He says Allen County does have a mosquito that can contract EEE by biting an animal that has the virus.

“So the risk is low, but it’s always there. So we do ask, and not just for Eastern equine encephalitis, but also for like West Nile virus and Lacrosse encephalitis, whenever people are outdoors they need to wearing that bug repellent to make sure they’re not getting bit by those mosquitoes.”

Fiess says Allen County has not had a EEE case he’s aware of currently.

“Years, years, years ago, maybe. But I’ve been doing mosquito control, or I’ve been here at the health department for 24 years and we have not had a case of Eastern equine encephalitis in mosquitoes or humans in the 24 year time period.”

Fiess says this time of year brings more mosquitoes, which results in more viruses. However, that will change soon.

“They don’t like the cooler temperatures. So it’s still a good idea to wear the bug repellent. Mosquito season will continue on until we have the first or even second hard frost, then after that time mosquito season is over.”

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