Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus in Huntington County

Posted Thursday, September 8, 2022.

The Indiana Department of Heath recently collected samples of mosquitos in Huntington County that have tested positive for West Nile Virus. The Huntington County Health Department urges all county residents to protect themselves from diseases carried by mosquitoes such as West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis through the rest of the mosquito season.

Mosquitoes will remain active as warm weather persists, but there are several things you can do to protect your family and to reduce your risk of becoming infected. If possible, avoid outdoor activities from dusk until dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. If you will be outdoors during this time, wear long sleeves and pants, and be sure to use an insect repellant containing DEET (diethyltoluamide). Continue to protect yourself until after the first hard freeze of the year. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and will develop in as little as four days. Eliminate areas of standing water on or near your property by disposing of old tires, cans and containers that hold water. Clean out clogged gutters and stagnant water in bird baths or wheel barrows. Cover unused swimming pools but be aware that water that collects on top of swimming pool covers can also serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Even a small container with water in it can be a breeding site, allowing up to 1,000 mosquitoes to develop in one week.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. Most people infected with West Nile Virus show few or no symptoms. People over the age of 50 or who have compromised immune systems are at a higher risk for severe illness. Symptoms include fever, headache, neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting and sore joints, and usually occur three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. More severe infections are marked by rapid onset of a high fever with head and body aches, stiff neck, muscle weakness, disorientation, tremors, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord), convulsions and, in the most severe cases, coma or paralysis. In some individuals, West Nile Virus can cause permanent neurological damage or death. See your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of the disease.

Questions about West Nile Virus may be directed to the Huntington County Health Department at (260) 358-4831. The Health Department is located at 1330 S. Jefferson St. in Huntington, and office hours are 8 to 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. West Nile Virus information and brochures are available to the public during office hours.

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