News release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health:
Signs of West Nile virus found in Allen County mosquitoes
(July 31, 2012) – Residents are being reminded to mosquito-proof themselves and their homes after the first signs of West Nile virus activity were identified in Allen County.
West Nile virus is commonly found throughout the state each summer and there is usually an increase in activity as the season progresses. Starting in July, the Department of Health has been trapping and testing mosquitoes for disease such as West Nile virus (WNv) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) as part of its mosquito control program.
Two samples of mosquitoes collected in Allen County earlier this month and sent to the Indiana State Department of Health laboratory tested positive for the West Nile virus. One was in the 22000 block of Ash Street in Woodburn and the other was in the 6000 block of Tanager Boulevard off West Washington Center Road in northwest Fort Wayne.
Due to reduced resources and the possibility of increased resistance to the chemical, the Department of Health no longer routinely sprays when West Nile virus is detected. The focus is on primary prevention measures, such as education, source reduction and larviciding.
“Even in drought conditions, we know that mosquitoes can be active and spread disease,” said Allen County Health Commissioner Deborah McMahan, MD. “All it takes is one bite.
“I urge everyone to take precautions by wearing insect repellent when working or playing outdoors.”
Residents can also do their part by emptying flower pots and other containers, replacing water in birdbaths, getting rid of old tires, cleaning out clogged gutters and eliminating standing water on their property.
Making sure trash and recycling containers left outdoors are covered tightly with a lid is another way to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
For more information, visitor call (260) 449-7459.
About West Nile (WNv)
WNv is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that have first bitten an infected bird. Most people who become ill from these diseases will have mild symptoms such as headache, fever, dizziness and fatigue, but severe neurological symptoms, coma and even death can occur. People over age 50 and those with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk for serious illness and even death from WNv.
Mosquito Prevention Tips
[li]Check your property for breeding sites. Eliminate any sources of standing water. Clean out gutters and birdbaths. Properly dispose of tires. Maintain swimming pools and hot tubs. Make sure septic tanks, rain barrels and garbage cans are covered.[/li]
[li]Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.[/li]
[li]Limit time spent outdoors during peak mosquito biting times.[/li]
[li]When possible, wear loose, light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts and pants.[/li]
[li]Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.[/li]