UPDATE: State confirms West Nile Death in Vigo County Created by djackson on 10/18/2013 11:50:47 AM
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): State health officials have confirmed the first death from West Nile virus this year, in Vigo County.
Overall 20 cases have been reported and 87 counties have tested positive for mosquitoes carrying the virus. Last year, there were 77 reports and eight deaths in Indiana. Officials say while the risk has minimized with cooler fall conditions, there is still a risk of being bitten and contracting the virus.
“Although we’re past the normal peak season for West Nile virus, which was in August and September,” said Jennifer House, DVM, Director of Zoonotic and Environmental Epidemiology at the Indiana State Department of Health, “there’s still a risk of becoming infected on warmer days when mosquitoes are biting, so Hoosiers should continue to take precautions.”
She adds, the following steps will help protect you from West Nile virus:
· Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin
· Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home;
· Avoid places where mosquitoes are biting; and,
· When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.
West Nile virus usually causes West Nile fever, a milder form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals will develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other severe syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.
Individuals who think they may have West Nile virus should see their health care provider.