West Nile Virus Confirmed in Indiana, State Officials Offer Mosquito Safety Tips

State officials have confirmed the first cases of the West Nile Virus in Indiana. As the mosquito season progresses, the state is urging citizens to take preventive action against the virus.

To prevent yourself from getting the virus and other mosquito borne viruses, you can wear insect repellant, cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeve shirts and pants in places like wooded areas.

West Nile Virus starts out with a mild form of the illness. Symptoms include fever, head and body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. If you or someone you know have these symptoms, please see a health care provider.

* Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning).

* Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to clothes and exposed skin.

* Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas.

* Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Even a container as small as a bottle cap can become a breeding ground, so residents should take the following steps:

* Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water.

* Repair failed septic systems.
* Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.
* Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed.
* Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains.
* Frequently replace the water in pet bowls.
* Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically.
* Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish