Pools of mosquitoes in South Bend have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to state and local health officials.
St. Joseph County is one of 27 counties in Indiana where mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been found so far this year, according to a news release from The St. Joseph County Health Department.
So far this year, one human case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in Indiana, but it was not in St. Joseph County.
With the recent rainfall event and flooding, there is the potential for increased mosquito breeding, according to a news release from the St. Joseph County Health Department.
The health department is encouraging all residents to take the following steps:
• 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, or oil of lemon eucalyptus 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.
The health department also advises residents to take the following precautions to eliminate potential 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.
• Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use (a wading pool becomes a mosquito producer if not used on a regular basis).
For more information about West Nile Virus, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or contact the St. Joseph County Health Department at 574-235-9573.