Central Indiana West Nile Cases Present Few Local Risks

westnilevirusTwo human cases of West Nile Virus have prompted health officials in central Indiana to provide additional information to the public.

Those cases occurred in Huntington and Madison counties, but have not spread beyond those points. West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito and can bring about flu-like symptoms.

Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch says he is not currently aware of any mosquito populations in the local area reporting West Nile.

“However, as bad as the mosquito population has been this year, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least,” says Lynch.

West Nile Virus can be potentially deadly if an infected individual is either elderly or an infant. With no cure at this time, the virus typically works its way through the body like a cold, leaving most with a few days of down time.

Starke County reported a single human case of West Nile Virus last year according to Lynch.

Those concerned with the potential health effects of the virus can take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, such as: wearing long sleeves and pants, utilizing mosquito repellant, and removing standing water from their property in a timely manner.

Lynch says there are a few places mosquitoes are attracted to.

“If you have tires in your yard, a lot of times water will be inside those and the water pretty much stays still so that’s a good area for mosquitoes to breed and lay eggs,” says Lynch. “Swimming pools that aren’t filter pumped, being used and sitting dormant. Ponds, there’s no source of water agitation or anything like that. That’s also a good spot for mosquitoes laying eggs, creating larvae, what have you.”

Following heavy rains in the Northern portion of the state in June and July, Indiana experienced strong mosquito activity. Populations may have died down since that time.

Populations may further decrease as the weather cools later in the calendar year.