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West Nile Confirmed In Dubois And Greene County
Updated August 23, 2017 7:03 AM | Filed under: Health
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(BLOOMFIELD) - Health officials have confirmed Dubois and Greene County is among 64 counties across the state which have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

Residents are encouraged to protect themselves from being bitten by mosquitoes by following these simple steps: apply insect repellent containing DEET to clothes and exposed skin; wear light-colored clothing; Avoid wet, highly vegetative areas where mosquitoes live; and avoid being outdoors during prime mosquito biting times, dusk to dawn, when possible.

West Nile is a virus that is spread by mosquitoes. The virus may cause severe illness in people. Most people who get West Nile Virus will have no signs or mild illness. A few individuals will have a more severe form of the disease; swelling of the brain or the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord. Signs may be high fever, headache, neck stiffness, muscle weakness and being confused.

Mosquitoes spread the disease to humans by biting a bird with the virus and then biting a human. Humans that are bitten by a mosquito with the virus may show signs three to 15 days after being bitten. Anyone who gets a mosquito bite is at risk of getting West Nile fever; people over 50 years of age have the highest risk of getting severe disease. West Nile virus cannot be treated but care can be given to people with severe illness.

The elimination of standing water can help prevent issues with mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay eggs in still water, which then hatch in seven to 10 days. Elimination of standing water will preventing the pests of breeding.

The Indiana State Department of Health offers the following tips to potentially prevent exposure to the virus:

  • State health officials recommend the following preventive measures:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning);

  • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to 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.

  • Even a container as small as a bottle cap can become a mosquito breeding ground, so residents should take the following steps:

  • 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 weekly; and,

  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.

West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some people will develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system, including inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis or even death. People who think they may have West Nile virus should visit their healthcare provider.

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