TERRE HAUTE, Ind (WTHI) - On Monday, the Vigo County Health Department was notified by the Indiana State Department of Health that sample of mosquitoes in Vigo County have tested positive for West Nile Virus. There are still no human cases currently in Indiana.
Hoosiers are still encouraged to take steps to protect themselves from West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases to keep Vigo County’s numbers down until the first frost.
State health officials recommend the following preventative measures:
• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (late afternoon and dusk to dawn and early morning);
• Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone 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, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.
Most people who get West Nile virus will have no signs or mild illness. A few individuals will have a more severe form of the disease; swelling of the brain or the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord. Signs may be high fever, headache, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, and being confused.
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;
• Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically; and,
• Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.
People who think they may have West Nile virus should see their healthcare provider.
The Health Department is continuing to spray for mosquitoes. Below is a link that lists the dates and areas scheduled to be sprayed by Vector Control.