West Nile virus found in Marion County mosquitoes

In this Aug. 16, 2012 file photo, mosquitos are sorted at the Dallas County mosquito lab in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been found in Marion County, the health department said Thursday.

“When mosquitoes from a trap test positive for West Nile virus, Mosquito Control increases its prevention efforts during daytime and evening hours in the area where the trap is located,” the Marion County Public Health Department said in a news release.

No human cases of the virus have been reported so far this year in Marion County.

Most people who get infected do not develop any symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with certain medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes and kidney disease, are at a greater risk experiencing symptoms, which include headache, body aches, joint pains or a rash. Less than 1 percent of people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis, the release said.

To help avoid infection if you go outdoors, wear long sleeves and long pants from dusk to dawn and use insect repellent containing DEET.

Draining standing water outside can also help curb the spread of the virus through mosquitoes.

“Even a small amount of standing water outside is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes,” Matt Sinsko, the department’s coordinator of Mosquito Control, said in the release. “We encourage residents to empty water from containers of any size and flush out bird baths every week. Check for old tires, clogged gutters, small recreational pools, and poorly operating septic systems.”

For questions about mosquito prevention, call Mosquito Control at 317-221-7440.

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