State health officials today announced the state’s first death in Indiana this year from West Nile virus. The Indiana Department of Health said privacy laws prevent them from saying what county the death occurred in. Twenty human cases have been reported in Indiana this year, three in Porter County, and one in Lake. In 2012, 77 human cases and eight deaths occurred in Indiana.
“Although we’re past the normal peak season for West Nile virus, which was in August and September,” said Jennifer House, DVM, Director of Zoonotic and Environmental Epidemiology at the Indiana State Department of Health, “there’s still a risk of becoming infected on warmer days when mosquitoes are biting, so Hoosiers should continue to take precautions.”
The state health department says West Nile virus usually causes West Nile fever, a milder 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.
Link to Indiana State Department of Health map: http://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo/
State health officials say the following steps will help protect from West Nile virus:
· 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;
· Avoid places where mosquitoes are biting; and,
· When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.
Individuals who think they may have West Nile virus are advised to see their health care provider.
Additional information from the Indiana State Department of Health:
There is no vaccine and no cure for West Nile virus, Saint Louis encephalitis or Eastern equine encephalitis for humans.
No mosquito samples have tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis or Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis in 2013.
For historical data on West Nile virus activity in Indiana, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/statsMaps/finalMapsData/index.html.
For more information about mosquito safety, visit the Indiana State Department of Health atwww.StateHealth.IN.gov . Follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1
[Image/Indiana State Department of Health]