Residents Reminded to Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus

westnilevirusSummer may be entering its final weeks, but mosquito season continues. So far this year, 92 mosquito batches have tested positive for West Nile Virus, including two in Starke County and three in St. Joseph County.

Marion County reported the greatest number of mosquito batches with the disease at 32. It also had the state’s only human case of West Nile, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

State health officials say that while anyone may be infected with the virus, those over the age of 50 are at a higher risk of experiencing serious illness. However, most people will only experience mild symptoms, if any. These may include fever, upset stomach, body aches, or muscle weakness.

To protect yourself, the ISDH recommends using insect repellant containing DEET, and wearing shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt if you’re planning on being outdoors for long periods of time or when mosquitoes are most active. You can also help reduce the local mosquito population by getting rid of any standing water.

For more information about West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, visit the ISDH website.