News release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health:
Rise in number of mosquitoes carrying potentially fatal virus
West Nile virus infecting local mosquito population, protect your family & wear repellent
(August 23, 2018) – With summer winding down, it’s important you don’t become complacent with health and safety.
West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases are commonly found throughout the state each summer and there is usually an increase in activity this time of year. So far this year mosquitoes from 43 counties have tested positive for West Nile virus. Of 182 samples of mosquitoes tested in Allen County, 43 were found positive for the virus, a significant increase compared to the same timeframe in 2017. In total last year, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health tested 243 samples and had 43 positive for West Nile virus. This season’s results can be found at: https://bit.ly/2NbQtDz.
West Nile virus 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 West Nile virus.
People should continue to wear insect repellent when spending time outdoors until the first hard freeze. Resident are also reminded to remove potential breeding sites by cleaning or covering their swimming pools, disposing of old tires and other sources of standing water.
More Mosquito Prevention Tips:
- 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.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.
- Limit time spent outdoors during peak mosquito biting times.
- When possible, wear loose, light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.