Officials with the Indiana Department of Health are urging residents to take extra precautions against mosquito bites after confirming "one human case" of West Nile Virus has been discovered somewhere in Vanderburgh County.

According to a press release from the Department's website, "168 mosquito samples in 27 Indiana counties" have also tested positive for the virus.

The Department strongly recommends the following actions to help cut down your potential for being bitten:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning)
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on 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
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home

To prevent possible breeding grounds for mosquitoes around your home, they suggest you and your neighbors do the following:

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

Symptoms of West Nile, according to the Department, include "West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness, which can result in fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash." More severe cases have been known to result in complications with the "nervous system, including inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis or even death." Contact your doctor if you or someone you know think they could be infected.

For more information, visit the Indiana Health Department website.

[Source: Indiana Department of Health]