A total of seven cases have been reported so far this year. Confirmed cases have been found in Fulton, Hamilton, Jackson, Monroe, Marion and Vanderburgh counties.
“Because this virus is carried and transmitted by mosquitoes, we are all susceptible to it,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. “The tragic death we’ve recently experienced serves as a reminder of just how important it is to take steps to protect ourselves from mosquitoes, both indoors and outdoors. When you open your windows, be sure they have screens so mosquitoes can’t get in. When you go outside, you can protect yourself by covering up and wearing insect repellent, but you can also reduce the amount of mosquitoes around your home by eliminating areas they may use for breeding grounds.”
The West Nile virus usually causes affected individuals to have a fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals could develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis.
The health department recommends taking the following steps to protect yourself from mosquitoes:
- 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
- When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.