West Nile Virus identified in mosquitoes in St. Joseph County

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- A pool of mosquitoes in northern Osceola have tested positive for the West Nile Virus, according to the St. Joseph County Health Department.

St. Joseph is one of four counties in Indiana to have mosquitoes with West Nile Virus.

There have been no human cases so far this ear.

The health department has the following tips for protecting 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.

The department also recommends the following steps to eliminate 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).

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