West Nile Virus is in Vigo County; here is how to prevent its spread

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Indiana Department of Health notified the Vigo County Health Department Friday that a sample pool of mosquitoes in Vigo County has tested positive for West Nile Virus, the first positive result of the year; still no human cases have been reported in Indiana in 2021.

In order to prevent West Nile Virus from spreading and protect yourself from the virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, state health officials recommend:

  • Avoiding the outdoors when mosquitoes are active, usually late afternoon, dusk and dawn
  • Applying insect repellent containing DEET or lemon eucalyptus oil to exposed skin and clothes
  • Installing or repairing screens on all windows in your home
  • Wearing long pants and sleeves, especially in wooded or marshy areas

Most people who contract West Nile Virus experience no symptoms or very mild illness. However, a few individuals may contract a more severe form of the disease that cause brain and spinal cord swelling. Signs of severe West Nile Virus cases include:

  • High fevers
  • Headaches
  • Neck stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion

In order to prevent areas from turning into potential mosquito breeding grounds, the state suggests:

  • Discarding old tires, tin cans, ceramics pots and any other container potentially holding water
  • Repair any broken septic systems
  • Drain or drill holes in outdoor recycling containers
  • Keep grass short and trimmed
  • Clean any clogged roof gutters and drains
  • Replace water in and clean decorations such as fountains and birdbaths
  • Aerate or fill ornamental pools with predatory fish

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