The Indiana Department of Health detected a pool of mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile Virus in Porter County from samples collected in early August. The Porter County Health Department says residents should take precautions when going outside.

Taking precautions such as: practicing bite prevention using an EPA- registered insect repellant, wearing long sleeves, eliminating standing water around the home, and avoid going outside during peak feeding at dusk and dawn. Container as small as a bottle cap can become a mosquito breeding site, so residents should take the following steps:

  • Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold stagnant water;
  • Repair failed septic systems;
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains;
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;
  • Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically;
  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.
  • Frequently replace the water in pet bowls; and
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.

State health officials recommend the following measures to prevent mosquito-borne diseases when venturing outside:

  • 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; and
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas.

Most people who are infected with West Nile virus will not develop symptoms, but those who do may experience 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 older than 60 years and those with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of developing severe disease. Individuals who think they may have West Nile virus should see their healthcare providers. To see the latest results of the state’s mosquito surveillance and to learn more about West Nile, go to entomology/vector-borne-diseases/mosquito-borne-diseases/ Porter County is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disabilitv, military status, genetic testing, pregnancv, sexual orientation or an other unlawful bias.