News release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health:
Mosquitoes capable of carrying disease found right here at home
Take simple steps to protect yourself & your family
(August 2, 2018) – We’ve all been there; you just need to mow the yard quick after work or want to sit outside on the porch for a few minutes to read your favorite book. Did you apply insect repellent first before heading outdoors? Simple preventative steps can mean all the difference for you and your family’s health.
Mosquitoes in Indiana can carry a variety of diseases like West Nile virus, St. Louis and Lacrosse encephalitis. People who are bitten by infected mosquitoes and get these mosquito-borne diseases can experience symptoms such as headache, fever, dizziness, fatigue and rash.
While most people will recover fairly quickly, others may be susceptible to a more serious course of illness. People over age 50 and those with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk for severe illness, coma and even death from mosquito-borne disease.
Starting in July, the Allen County Department of Health began trapping and testing mosquitoes at locations throughout the county as part of its mosquito control program. Because some mosquitoes are just as likely to bite during the middle of the day as they are at dusk or dawn, it is important you wear insect repellent whenever you go outside.
“If you’re going to be outdoors, cover up with long pants and long sleeves and apply an insect repellent with DEET to your clothing and exposed skin,” says Dave Fiess, director of Vector Control & Environmental Services. “Nothing is more effective at warding off mosquitoes and ticks than wearing repellent.”
Residents can also do their part to reduce mosquito breeding by emptying flower pots and other containers, replacing water in birdbaths, properly disposing of old tires, maintaining or tightly covering swimming pools and spas, and cleaning out clogged gutters. Residents can also purchase a hand fogger or a barrier spray for use on low-lying bushes and trees to help cut down on the mosquito population.
People traveling in or outside the United States are also reminded to minimize their exposure to mosquitoes. For more information, visit www.allencountyhealth.com.