3 sites test positive for West Nile in southern Indiana - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

3 sites test positive for West Nile in southern Indiana

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Clark County health officials have identified three sites that tested positive for West Nile virus. Clark County health officials have identified three sites that tested positive for West Nile virus.
Doug Bentfield Doug Bentfield
What many may not realize is that West Nile is actually harbored in birds. What many may not realize is that West Nile is actually harbored in birds.

CLARK COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - The heat is cranking up and so are the mosquitos. Every year there are warning about the dangers of West Nile. Some numbers coming out of southern Indiana are pretty alarming. That's because some areas are testing positive for the virus.

Clark County health officials have identified three sites that tested positive for West Nile virus. One of them in the northern corridor of Hamburg Pike, a second is on10th Street in downtown Jeffersonville and the third is in Sellersburg, just north of the industrial park on Highway 31.

"Last year we had one," said Doug Bentfield from the Clark County Health Department. "This year we have three in one week which is a little abnormal. But, West Nile has been in Clark County since 2002. Every year we expect to see it it's not anything we expect will go away."

What many may not realize is that West Nile is actually harbored in birds.

"The birds always carry West Nile," said Bentfield. "More specifically blue jays, raptors and crows is what we have identified and tested."

Bentfield said mosquitoes are kind of like pesky messengers.

Mosquitoes have to go bite a bird and then come bite a human to transfer the disease between the two. Thankfully, in Clark County there are no human cases so far this year, but cases do happen often. The hot dry weather we've been experiencing doesn't help.

"Mosquito larvae is relevant to temperature, the hotter it gets the quicker they can go from egg to adult," said Bentfield.

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself. Get rid of standing water, drain clogged gutters and get rid of old tires. Use DEET as a repellant and wear protective clothing such as long sleeves and pants. Also, avoid being outside during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. 

The first human case of West Nile virus this year in Indiana has been reported in Ripley County.

As far as Louisville, Metro Public Health and Wellness said they do not have any positive mosquito cases or human cases so far this year.

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