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West Nile virus begins to spread in Indiana



TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Health officials report that mosquitoes are testing positive for West Nile virus in Elkhart and Carroll counties.

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There have been no reports of people affected by the virus, but officials want to warn people when the mosquito season progresses.

The Indiana Health Department said that these positive results happen in almost all districts of the state and they begin to control in June through the end of October. Because this problem is sometimes inevitable, the department said checking the label on your repellent is the key.

"If they (the Health Department) notice it, it's a sign that it's ready to spread in the human population," said Craig Rich, Tippecanoe's Minister of Health.

Rich said the department is leading crews to hatcheries to look for active mosquito larvae to determine which species they are.

"They will contact the Health Department to see where they have had problems in the past, and then they will be placed in locations."

Purdue Professor Emeritus Ralph Williams said this report was intended for inspectors to catch them before they spread.

"It's more important to alert health departments to positive mosquito activity," Williams said.

According to the National Board of Health, someone near the stagnant water has to make sure they are repellent and check the active ingredients inside to avoid the West Nile virus.

"The first step for West Nile virus control is to look for the actual types of mosquitoes that transmit this disease," Williams said.

Ingredients that include DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and others are suggested to keep the mosquitoes out. The use of "all natural" methods may prevent the disease from reaching human skin.

"There are lots of preparations out there, there's a lot of stuff, but EPA-registered insect repellent that will be on the label will have an EPA registration number, those that have proven to be effective."

The Department recommends rinsing the water where it may stagnate for a few days. Pool covers, gutters and flower pots can also be a place for the water to gather.


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