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Two Human Cases of West Nile in the Region

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There are five human cases of mosquito-transmitted West Nile virus in Indiana, and two of them are here in the Region. According to the latest data available from the state department of health, there are two human cases of West Nile virus in Porter County; the others are in St. Joseph County and downstate in Floyd and Ripley Counties. Here in the Region, the state says six mosquito pools have tested positive for the disease in Lake County, two in Porter, one each in Newton and Starke and four in Pulaski County. Just across the state line, Cook County health officials are reporting the first West Nile virus death in suburban Cook County this year -- a 67-year-old Cicero man suffering from multiple underlying health conditions who died recently after contracting the virus.
Indiana State health officials recommend the following preventative measures:
·         Avoid places where mosquitoes are biting;
·         Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin;
·         Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home; and,
·         When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.
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 individuals will develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other severe syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.
To reduce potential mosquito breeding grounds:
·         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; and,
.         Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.
State health officials say individuals who think they may have West Nile virus should see their health care provider. 
Link to state West Nile virus data map: http://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo/


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