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Indiana reported the first West Nile virus infection of 2023



Indianapolis, Indiana – According to state health officials, a resident of Johnson County has been identified as Indiana’s first West Nile virus case of 2023.

The individual’s status is unknown, and they have not been identified.

Following the first West Nile virus case of the year, the Indiana Department of Health is advising Hoosiers to avoid mosquito bites.

State health officials issue a warning after numerous instances of the virus being found in mosquitoes across Indiana.

60 counties’ worth of mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus thus far, totaling 225.

“The risk of mosquito-borne disease remains through the first hard freeze, so it is important that Hoosiers take precautions against mosquito bites until then,” said State Health Commissioner Lindsay Weaver in a release. “Mosquito season is far from over, and simple prevention steps can help Hoosiers enjoy the outdoors without putting themselves at unnecessary risk.”

The symptoms of West Nile fever, which can be brought on by the West Nile virus, include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash. Some patients may develop a more severe version of the neurological condition that causes muscle paralysis, brain and spinal cord inflammation, and even death.

Anyone who thinks they might have the West Nile virus sickness should visit their doctor.

The following recommendations are made by state health experts to help avoid diseases spread by mosquitoes:

• Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-Undecanone to clothes and exposed skin;
• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially early morning, late afternoon, and the hours between dusk and dawn);
• Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves, and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas;
• Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.

According to IDOH, even a little container like a bottle cap can develop into a mosquito breeding ground. The actions listed below can assist in getting rid of them:

• Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots, or other containers that can hold water;
• Repair failed septic systems;
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;
• Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;
• Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains;
• Frequently replace the water in pet bowls;
• Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically; and,
• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with predatory fish.