Protect yourself against mosquitoes this year | Local News
Indiana health officials are urging Hoosiers to take action to protect themselves from mosquito bites after West Nile virus is detected in Indiana for the first time this year.
So far in 2021, a mosquito sample collected in Vigo County has tested positive for West Nile virus.
No human cases of West Nile virus disease have been detected so far this year; however, the Indiana Department of Health expects to see more West Nile activity statewide as the mosquito season progresses.
“Many of us look forward to summer activities that were postponed or canceled last year, but we don’t want anyone to get sick from mosquito bites,” said Kris Box, Health Commissioner of the state. “Hoosiers in all parts of the state should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when they are outdoors.”
Mosquitoes can transmit various diseases.
In 2019 and 2020, Indiana experienced outbreaks of another mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis. These outbreaks have caused two human cases, including one fatal, and 18 horse cases in northern Indiana.
Although EEE virus activity has not been detected in Indiana so far this year, health officials want Hoosiers to remain cautious.
State health authorities recommend the following preventive measures:
Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially in the late afternoon, from dusk to dawn and early in the morning); apply an EPA registered insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, lemon eucalyptus oil, or para-menthane-diol to clothing and exposed skin; cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are particularly active, such as wooded areas; install or repair screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
Even a container as small as a bottle cap can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, so residents should take the following steps to eliminate potential breeding grounds:
Throw away old tires, cans, ceramic pots or other containers that may contain water; repair faulty septic tanks; drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outside; keep grass cut short and shrubs trimmed; clean clogged gutters, especially if leaves tend to clog drains; frequently replace the water in pet bowls; periodically rinse ornamental fountains and birdbaths; and aerate ornamental ponds or supply them with predatory fish.
Those who think they may have West Nile virus or EEE virus disease should contact their health care providers.
To see the latest mosquito surveillance results from the state health department, go to https://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo.
To learn more about mosquito-borne diseases, visit https://www.in.gov/isdh/27793.htm.