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MARSHALL CO. â€” The Marshall County Health Dept. reported Monday that the level of West Nile Virus (WNV) transmission has continued to increase in Indiana. There are now both human and equine cases, and this trend is expected to continue. The Indiana State Department of Health reports that the following 62 counties have had mosquitoes test positive for WNV this year. They are: Â Adams, Allen, Bartholomew, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, Decatur, DeKalb, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Huntington, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Lake, LaPorte, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Martin, Miami, Montgomery, Morgan, Noble, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Pike, Porter, Posey, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, St. Joseph, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Wells and Whitley.
During periods of drought, mosquitoes are still able to thrive in stagnant locations such as sewer systems / catch basins, tires, containers and creeks which have stopped flowing. Some areas of the state have recently received some much needed rain. This has a positive and negative side, as the rain will serve to help flush out some breeding sites, but will also enable tires and containers to be refilled. Forecasts for the next week are calling for cooler weather in the evenings, which may lead to more people spending time outdoors at dusk. Please be aware that it is very important to protect from being bitten by mosquitoes, especially with so much virus out there in the mosquito population.
State health officials recommend to: avoid places where mosquitoes are biting; apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin; install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home; also wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.
West Nile virus usually causes West Nile fever, a milder form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals will develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other severe syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.
To reduce potential mosquito breeding grounds:
â€˘ Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water;
â€˘ Repair failed septic systems;
â€˘ Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;
â€˘ Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;
â€˘ Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains;
â€˘ Frequently replace the water in pet bowls;
â€˘ Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically; and,
â€˘ Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.
Individuals who think they may have West Nile virus should see their healthcare provider.
For more information about mosquito safety, please visit the Indiana State Department of Healthâ€™s website at www.StateHealth.IN.gov. or contact the Marshall County Health Dept. 574-935-8565.