The Marion County Public Health Department has documented the first mosquitoes of the season carrying West Nile virus. West Nile virus in mosquitoes is usually first detected in Marion County during the month of July.
No human cases of the virus have been reported in Marion County this year.
Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and kidney disease are at greater risk experiencing symptoms which include headache, body aches, joint pains or rash. Less than one percent of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.
The Marion County Public Health Department reminds everyone to observe the four Ds of mosquito control to stay protected from bites:
- DUSK – Stay indoors from dusk until dawn.
- DRESS – Wear long sleeves and long pants when outside during these times.
- DEET – Use insect repellent containing DEET.
- DRAINAGE – Remove all standing water outside the home.
Residents should dump standing water in containers of any size and flush out bird baths every week. Even small amounts of standing water are a potential mosquito breeding ground. Check for unused tires, clogged gutters, small recreational pools and poorly operating septic systems.
The sample of mosquitoes testing positive came from a surveillance trap located in Washington Township. Traps are located throughout the county to monitor the local mosquito population and test for West Nile virus.
No deaths from West Nile virus were reported in Marion County in 2013.