INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) The Indiana Department of Health on Thursday reported the state’s first case of West Nile virus for 2022. The case involves a person in Lake County in northwest Indiana. It also noted that the West Nile virus has been detected in a sample of mosquitoes collected in Steuben County.

“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 State Public Health Veterinarian Jennifer Brown, D.V.M., M.P.H. “We are at risk for mosquito-borne disease through the first hard freeze.”

According to state health officials, most people who are infected with West Nile virus will not develop symptoms. However, those that do may experience a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some people will develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system, including inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis, or even death.

People older than 60 years and those with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of developing severe disease. Individuals who think they may have West Nile virus should see their healthcare providers. 

State health officials recommend the following measures to prevent mosquito-borne diseases when venturing 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; and
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas.