The Marion County Public Health Department has documented the first mosquitoes of the season carrying West Nile virus. No human cases of the virus have been reported this year in Marion County.
The sample of mosquitoes testing positive came from a surveillance trap located in Washington Township. Traps are located in areas throughout the county. The health department monitors the local mosquito population, which includes testing mosquitoes daily for presence of the virus.
West Nile virus in mosquitoes is usually first detected in Marion County during the month of July.
Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and kidney disease are at greater risk experiencing symptoms which include headache, body aches, joint pains or rash. Less than one percent of people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.
The Marion County Public Health Department reminds everyone to observe the four Ds of mosquito control to stay protected from bites:
- DUSK – Stay indoors from dusk until dawn. If you do spend time outdoors….
- DRESS – Wear long sleeves and long pants when outside during these times.
- DEET – Use insect repellent containing DEET.
- DRAINAGE – Remove all standing water outside the home.
Residents should dump standing water in containers of any size and flush out bird baths every week. Even small amounts of standing water are a potential mosquito breeding ground. Check for unused tires, clogged gutters, small recreational pools and poorly operating septic systems.