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First case of West Nile virus in 2022 in Indiana detected in Lake County resident

Here’s Why Mosquitoes Love To Bite Some People But Not Others
Posted at 2:04 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 14:04:13-04

LAKE COUNTY — The first case of the West Nile virus this year has been detected in a Lake County resident, according to the Indiana Department of Health.

The virus was also detected in a sample of mosquitoes collected from Steuben County.

According to IDOH, most people who are infected with the West Nile virus don't develop symptoms, but some people may experience a mild form of the illness. The symptoms can include a fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash.

Some people who experience a more severe form of the virus can experience inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis or even death, according to IDOH. Those who are 60 and older and those with underlying health conditions are at a higher risk for experiencing more severe symptoms.

Health officials are urging people to protect themselves against mosquito bites, especially during Fourth of July celebrations.

Other precautions people can take, according to IDOH, include:

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