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Friday, June 9, 2017

First Mosquitoes to Contract West Nile Virus — Indiana 2017

It's another season of mosquitoes "out for blood" in the United States and elsewhere, and health officials are testing for West Nile Virus in those bloodsuckers. In Indiana, the first lab-tested batch of mosquitoes with the WNV have been confirmed in a neighboring county southwest of Indianapolis — Morgan County, to be exact. Therefore, residents of rural areas and communities including Martinsville, Mooresville, Bethany, Brooklyn, Centerton, Chetwynd, Cope, Eminence, Exchange, Five Points, Landersdale, Little Point, Mahalasville, Monrovia, Morgantown, Paragon, Wakeland, Whitaker, and Wilbur should be particularly wary of mosquitoes.

The good news: only a very small percentage of local mosquitoes (likely less than 1%) carry the West Nile Virus, and many WNV-infected people do not experience fever or other symptoms. Regardless, it's still a good idea to take precautions to prevent being bit — especially with the use of insect repellent (should include DEET) and protective clothing to cover skin. To track WNV infections among Hoosier mosquitoes and people throughout the rest of spring, summer, and fall seasons, access the Indiana St. Department of Health's Arboviral Disease Map (↗).

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