Residents are advised to take extra precautions after mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus in at least five counties, including Marion County.
The mosquito known to carry the virus thrives and breeds in standing water. Marion County Public Health Department biologist Jim Erwin says residents should take steps beyond repellent to keep mosquitoes from biting them.
“Just take a five-minute walk around your yard once a week and make sure there is no standing water in any containers," Erwin says. "Wear long sleeve shirts, and pants if you can. I know it’s been awful hot lately, but anything you can do to prevent mosquitoes from biting you, that would definitely help."
Symptoms of West Nile virus can include headaches and fevers. They can surface any time between a few days to a few weeks after a bite. But some people may not exhibit symptoms at all.
West Nile Virus can be deadly for people with weaker immune systems.
There have been no confirmed human cases in Indiana this year.
Mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus in Marion, Monroe, Elkhart, Carroll, and Tippecanoe counties.
The mosquito species known as Culex is the main culprit for spreading the virus. It bites and infects birds that are then bitten by other mosquitos. Those mosquitoes can then spread the virus as they bite humans.