West Nile Virus Found In Dubois County; Returns About This Time Every Year

west-nile-virus-alert-picThe West Nile Virus has once again made its way into Dubois County.

The Dubois County Health Department confirms that a sample of mosquitoes in the Jasper area has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

It is not unusual for the virus to be found in Dubois County this time of year. The health department’s Shawn Werner says a positive sample of the West Nile Virus has been found in the county the last several years.

Werner says “we’ve been lucky” the outbreaks locally have not been severe and the number of human cases, which are rare, have been few.

The health department is asking local residents to stay vigilant in protecting themselves from the virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

“The Dubois County Health Department encourages everyone in the county to protect themselves from being bitten by mosquitoes by following these simple steps: apply insect repellent containing DEET to clothes and exposed skin; wear light colored clothing; Avoid wet, highly vegetative areas where mosquitoes live; and avoid being outdoors during prime mosquito biting times, dusk to dawn, when possible,” according to a press release from the department.

Some simple steps to prevent mosquitoes from breeding are as follows.

Eliminate areas of standing water on your property
Repair failing septic systems.

Remove any containers that will hold water.
Clean your clogged gutters.

Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed. Tall vegetation is an excellent harborage area for mosquitoes.

Keep swimming pools chlorinated and clean.
The basic rule is; if water lasts more than 4 days mosquitoes can reproduce. Even a small bucket can produce up to a 1,000 mosquitoes in just a few days.
Some symptoms of West Nile Virus are;

High Fever
Severe Headache
Stiff Neck
Muscle weakness or paralysis
Nausea, vomiting
Confusion

Werner says the West Nile Virus can also infect domestic animals like horses.

West Nile can often prove fatal for horses. Werner says its very important to contact your veterinarian to get your horse immunized if you haven’t already done so.

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