INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s first West Nile virus case of 2022 has been detected in a Lake County resident, the Indiana Department of Health reported Thursday.

IDH said no additional information will be released about the patient due to privacy concerns.

The West Nile virus has also been detected in a sample of mosquitoes collected from Steuben County, the health department noted.

State health officials expect to see additional West Nile virus activity as the mosquito season progresses and urge Hoosiers to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

“All Hoosiers should take precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites at their 4th of July celebrations and for the rest of the summer,” said Indiana Public Health Veterinarian Jennifer Brown, D.V.M., M.P.H. “We are at risk for mosquito-borne disease through the first hard freeze.”

IDH noted that even a container as small as a bottle cap can become a mosquito breeding site and recommends the public take the following steps:

  • Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold stagnant water
  • Repair failed septic systems
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed
  • Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically
  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish
  • Frequently replace the water in pet bowls
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home

State health officials recommend the following measures to avoid contracting mosquito-borne diseases when outside:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning)
  • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to clothes and exposed skin
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas

West Nile Virus

IDH explained that most people infected with the West Nile virus do not develop symptoms. However, those who do may experience a mild form of the illness, which can include a fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands and rash.

Some develop a more severe form of the disease that affects the nervous system, including inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis or even death. People older than 60 and those with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of developing severe disease, the health department noted.

Anyone who believes they may have West Nile should see their healthcare providers. 

Click here to view the latest results of the state’s mosquito surveillance.