Elkhart County Health Department warns about West Nile Virus
ELKHART CO., Ind. -- The Elkhart County Health Department is warning people about the West Nile Virus.
Officials said since we have received a lot of heavy rain recently, mosquitoes are back and could be carrying the virus.
They have collected mosquitoes for testing and said some of the mosquitoes in the county are now carrying the virus. No human cases have been reported so far, though.
Here are some tips they suggest to protect yourself:
- Wear EPA-registered insect repellent
- Avoid going outside at dusk and dawn
- Wear long sleeves and long pants when outdoors
- Make sure window screens are secured indoors
- Eliminate standing water from flower pots and buckets
- Change the water in pet dishes frequently
- Replace the water in bird baths weekly
- Get rid of old tires and drill holes in tire swings so the water drains out
West Nile Virus can be potentially serious and even cause deadly infection. Symptoms include fever, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, however, most people who are infected will not have symptoms. About 1 in 150 people will have a severe illness from exposure that could include coma, convulsions, and paralysis.
People over the age of 50 are at a higher risk and should be careful to avoid being bitten.
Anyone with symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control website.