West Nile Virus case confirmed in Clark County mosquito

West Nile Virus case confirmed in Clark County mosquito
West Nile Virus Activity by State – United States, 2020 (as of September 9, 2020) (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

CLARK COUNTY, In. (WAVE) - The Clark County Health Department (CCHD) has confirmed its first positive West Nile Virus mosquito sample for 2020.

The Indiana Department of Health notified the CCHD that one of their mosquito samples tested positive for the West Nile Virus on September 15, according to a press release. No human cases of the West Nile Virus have been reported in Clark County or Indiana during this season.

“It is important for everyone to take appropriate precautions to avoid mosquito bites. There is no human vaccine, and there is no cure for West Nile virus infection, but it can be prevented,” Dr. Eric Yazel, Clark County Health Officer, said.

Eight out of 10 people infected with the West Niles virus do not develop symptoms, according to the CCHD. One in five people infected by West Nile can develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or a rash. While most people with this type of West Nile Virus recover, experts say weakness and fatigue can last for months. Around one in 150 could develop severe central nervous system illnesses, including encephalitis or meningitis.

Experts at the CCHD recommend using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to avoid mosquito bites. Being outside during the dusk and dawn should be avoided since mosquitoes are most active at those times.

The Clark County Health Department offers the following tips to help rid your neighborhood of mosquito breeding sites.

  1. Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely.
  2. Remove old tires or drill drainage holes in tires used for playground equipment.
  3. Store plastic wading pools inside or turn them upside down when not in use.
  4. Turn over or remove clay pots and plastic containers.
  5. Dispose of all empty beverage containers, plastic wrappers, discarded toys, etc.
  6. Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, etc. Arrange the tarp to drain the water.
  7. Pump out bilges in boats. Turn canoes and small boats upside down for storage.
  8. Replace water in birdbaths at least twice a week.
  9. Remove pet food and water dishes that are not being used.
  10. Flush livestock water troughs twice a week.
  11. Don’t leave garbage can lids lying upside down. Be sure water does not collect in the bottom of garbage cans.
  12. Flush water in the bottom of plant holders twice a week.
  13. Fix dripping outside water faucets.
  14. Turn wheelbarrows upside down when stored outside.
  15. Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading prevent drainage problems.
  16. Check ornamental ponds, tree holes, and water-holding low areas for mosquito larvae. Call the nearest Mosquito Control Office (see below) if you find, or suspect, mosquito larvae are present.
  17. If ditches do not flow and contain stagnant water for one week or longer, they can produce large numbers of mosquitoes. Report such conditions to a Mosquito Control Office. Do not attempt to clear these ditches because they may be protected by wetland regulations.

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