ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health is reminding residents to mosquito-proof themselves and their homs after the first signs of West Nile virus activity were identified in Allen County.
West Nile virus is commonly found throughout the state each summer and there is usually an increase in activity as the season progresses.
Starting in late June, the Department of Health has been trapping and testing mosquitoes for disease such as West Nile virus (WNv), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) as part of its mosquito control program.
A sample of mosquitoes collected from the 500 block of Elmer Avenue off North Wells Street near Franke Park tested positive for West Nile virus this week. This is the first positive sample of the season in Allen County.
The Department of Health no longer routinely sprays when West Nile virus is detected. The focus is now on primary prevention measures, such as education, source reduction and larviciding.
While most cases of West Nile virus are mild, a small percentage can result in central nervous system problems that can be life-threatening. In 2012, Allen County had 12 humans cases of West Nile virus, including two deaths.
“As we do every summer, we urge people to take precautions by wearing insect repellent when working or playing outdoors and to rid their yards of mosquito breeding areas,” said Dave Fiess, director of Vector Control and Environmental Services.
Residents can also do just that by emptying flower pots and other containers, replacing water in birdbaths, getting rid of un-rimmed tires, cleaning out clogged gutters and eliminating standing water on their property. The Department of Health also offers free mosquito-eating fish for ornamental ponds and water gardens.
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