(INDIANAPOLIS) - A Marion County resident has died from West Nile virus.
The Marion County Public Health Department made the announcement Monday afternoon. Health officials did not release a name, saying only that the victim was a man who lived in Marion County. He died Saturday.
West Nile virus has been identified in all nine Marion County townships.
Symptoms from the disease include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash. Some people may develop a more serious form of the disease, leading to encephalitis, meningitis and or flaccid muscle paralysis.
Since 2002, Marion County has experienced five deaths from West Nile virus, health department said. More than 50 people have gotten sick. Last year, there was just one human case and no deaths.
The health department said mosquitoes still present a danger to Marion County residents. The department has been receiving about a hundred complaints every night for the last week, according to Dr. Virginia A. Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department.
"So we try to respond within 24 to 48 hours of the complaints to go out and spray for the mosquitoes," Caine said.
Caine also said that Marion County has two more human cases of West Nile, although the patients are expected to survive.
The virus has been found in 67 of Indiana's 92 counties--that's twice as many as last year. The biggest factor, health officials said, is the weather. The heat wave and lack of rain provided plenty of stagnant water for mosquitoes to breed in.
Relief may be months away.
"It can be as bad as going all the way up through October," Caine said. "So somewhere between that October, November as the weather appears to get a little bit cooler, you'll see less exposure of the mosquitoes."
"We continue to urge residents to protect themselves while they are outside," she added. "The best method is to remember the four D's. They are Dusk, Dress, Deet, and Drain."
Dusk is the best time of day to stay inside because that is when mosquitoes are active. This is when infected mosquitoes are most active
Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you're outdoors. For extra protection, you may want to spray your clothing with repellent.
Deet is an important ingredient to look for in your insect repellent.
Drain standing water in your back yard and neighborhood.
Following those steps will minimize your exposure to mosquitoes, the department said. For more information about mosquito control services, contact the Marion County Public Health Department at 221-7440.
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