West Nile Virus detected in Elkhart County mosquitos


ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. -- The Indiana Department of Health has informed the Elkhart County Health Department that adult mosquitoes collected June 3, in Elkhart County have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

Health officials say precautions should be taken to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes.

According to health officials, transmission of WNV tends to be higher late summer and early fall, so the potential exists for people to be impacted soon.

Officials add mosquitoes remain active at temperatures above 60°F and tend to be more active in the evening and pre-dawn hours.

Mosquito precautions include:

  • 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, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin.
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long sleeves and long pants when outdoors.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.

Health officials say even a container as small as a bottle cap can breed mosquitoes, so you should take time to eliminate potential breeding grounds.

Recommendations include:

  • Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots, or other containers that can hold water, and repair failed septic systems.
  • 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 and aerate ornamental ponds.
  • Keep swimming pools clean, chlorinated, and operating.

You can contact the Elkhart County Health Department if you have questions at (574) 971-4600.

Share this article: