HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WOWO): The Indiana Department of Health says recently collected samples of mosquitoes in Huntington County that tested positive for West Nile virus.
The Huntington County Health Department urges residents to protect themselves from diseases carried by mosquitoes including West Nile virus and St. Louis Encephalitis through the rest of the mosquito season.
Officials say mosquitoes will remain active as warm weather persists. Tips to reduce your risk include avoiding outdoor activities from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active. If you will be outside, wear long sleeves and pants and use an insect repellent that contains DEET. Protect yourself from mosquitoes until after the first freeze of the year.
Also, eliminate areas of standing water on or near your property, including old tires, cans, containers that can hold water, clogged gutters, stagnant water in bird baths or wheel barrows. Cover unused swimming pools as water on top of those covers can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. Most people have little to no symptoms. However, people over the age of 50 or who have compromised immune systems are at a higher risk for illness. Symptoms include fever, headache, neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting and sore joints. Those usually occur 3-15 days after being bitten.
Severe symptoms include rapid onset of a high fever, head and body aches, stiff neck, muscle weakness, disorientation, tremors, encephalitis, meningitis, convulsions and even coma or paralysis. It can also cause permanent neurological damage or death.