Mosquito’s carrying the West Nile virus are now in 13 Indiana counties, a list that now includes St. Joseph County.
The County’s Department of Health says that testing has identified pools of mosquitoes that have tested positive in central South Bend.
No human cases of West Nile have been diagnosed in Indiana this year.
You are reminded to eliminate possible areas of stagnant water on your property, and take personal precautions to protect yourself from mosquitoes.
From the St. Joseph County Department of Health:
St. Joseph County Health Officer, Dr. Luis N. Galup, announced that Indiana State Department of Health testing has identified pools of West Nile Virus positive mosquitoes in central South Bend. St. Joseph County is one of 13 counties in Indiana where mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been found this year to date. There have not been any human cases of West Nile Virus in Indiana this year to date.
Dr. Galup encourages you to take the following steps to protect you and your family from mosquitoes:
• Avoid being outdoors during prime mosquito biting times – dusk to dawn – when possible.
• Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-methane-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.
• Make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair.
• Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.
To reduce potential mosquito breeding grounds:
• Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water (even a small bucket that has stagnant water in it for seven days can become home to up to 1,000 mosquitoes).
• 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 (roof gutters are easily overlooked, but can produce millions of mosquitoes each season).
• 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).
• Remember – mosquitoes will develop in any puddle that lasts for more than four days!
For more information about West Nile Virus, go to the St. Joseph County Health Department’s website (http://www.sjcindiana.com/524/Environmental-Health-Division) or contact them at 574-235-9573.