INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For the first time this season, mosquitoes in Marion County have tested positive for West Nile virus, the health department announced Friday.
The health department’s Mosquito Control program collects mosquitoes from traps around the county to monitor the population and test for West Nile virus each year. When mosquitoes test positive, the program increases its prevention efforts during daytime and evening hours in the area where the trap is located.
The health department says no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Marion County so far this year.
Most people who become infected with the virus do not develop any symptoms, according to the CDC. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and kidney disease are at greater risk for experiencing symptoms which include headache, body aches, joint pains or rash.
Less than one percent of people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.
The health department encourages everyone to follow the four Ds of mosquito control to help reduce the mosquito population and avoid bites:
- DUSK – Stay indoors from dusk until dawn. If you do spend time outdoors…
- DRESS – Wear long sleeves and long pants when outside during these times.
- DEET – Use insect repellent containing DEET.
- DRAINAGE – Remove all standing water outside the home.
“Taking just a few minutes to walk around your yard or property can help reduce the mosquito population,” said Matt Sinsko, coordinator of Mosquito Control at the Marion County Public Health Department. ”Check for old tires, clogged gutters, small recreational pools, and poorly operating septic systems. Also, dump water from containers of any size and flush out bird baths every week.”
For questions about mosquito prevention, call the Marion County Public Health Department’s Mosquito Control program at (317) 221-7440.