Indiana's first human case of West Nile virus for 2019 reported in Hamilton County

Posted at 2:48 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 14:50:03-04

HAMILTON COUNTY — The first Indiana case of West Nile virus in humans this year has been reported in Hamilton County.

Although it's the first human case for 2019, mosquitoes in 31 counties have tested positive for the virus so far this year including Marion, Hamilton, Boone, Johnson and Brown counties.

Other central Indiana counties where mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile this year include:

  • Clinton County
  • Howard County
  • Tippecanoe County
  • Brown County
  • Henry County
  • Wayne County

You can view the current West Nile Virus activity map from the Indiana State Department of health HERE.

Details about the human case have not been released.

In 2017, 26 human cases of West Nile virus were reported in Indiana and four people who contracted the virus died.

State health officials recommend the following steps to help prevent mosquito bites:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning).
  • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to clothes and exposed skin.
  • 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.

West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some people will develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system, including inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis or death. People who think they may have West Nile virus should see a healthcare provider.

The health department also warns that mosquitos breed in standing water and that even a container as small as a bottle cap can become a breeding ground for the insect.

State health officials recommend the following steps to help reduce the risk of mosquitos breeding near your home:

  • 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.
  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish