Area tests positive for West Nile
Saturday, August 02, 2014 5:00 AM
A pool of mosquitoes collected from the Hanover Waste Water Treatment Facility has tested positive for the West Nile virus, making Jefferson County one of 13 counties in Indiana with the virus.
The Jefferson County Health Department collected the mosquito samples in Hanover on July 23. The health department also sent pools of mosquitoes for testing from the hilltop and Chelsea areas, both of which had negative results.
There have been no confirmed human West Nile cases in Jefferson County or anywhere in the state.
The first and only Jefferson County human case was reported in 2011.
Jefferson County Health Department Administrator Tammy Monroe said residents should take extra precautions now that the virus has been found in the area.
The West Nile virus can bring a fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals can develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other neurological problems. A few may die from the infection.
To cut down on mosquitoes, the health department uses a fog treatment during summer events such as the 4-H Fair, Regatta and the upcoming Ribberfest.
The health department provided the following tips to combat mosquitoes:
Use an insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide).
Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
Make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair.
Eliminate areas of standing water available for mosquito breeding in or near your property.
Repair failed septic systems.
Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out of doors. Drainage holes that are located on the container sides collect enough water for mosquitoes to breed in.
Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed.
Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains. Roof gutters are easily overlooked but can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.
For more information regarding West Nile Virus and mosquito control visit the health department website at www.jeffersoncoinhealthdept.com or contact the Jefferson County Health Department at (812) 273-1942.