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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Health officials warn Hoosiers about West Nile virus activity

West Nile cases are starting to increase across Indiana.

INDIANA (WTHR) — West Nile cases are starting to increase across Indiana.

The State Department of Health said mosquitoes have now tested positive for West Nile in Elkart and Clark counties.

The virus has only been found in mosquitoes, not people.

There are no confirmed cases in central Indiana.

“Each year, we see people become ill as a result of mosquito bites,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “When we find evidence of the virus in multiple counties, that means the risk is starting to increase statewide. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness, so Hoosiers in every county should be taking precautions.”

However, the health department has 32 mosquito control teams working all the time. You can ask them to spray you home or neighborhood by calling 317-221-7440 or go online.

Here are some health precautions state health officials recommend:

  • 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.