Rushville Republican

Health

July 23, 2013

West Nile Virus found in Indiana

Health officials urge Hoosiers to protect themselves

(Continued)

Keeping grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed.

Disposing of old tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or other unused containers that can hold water. Do not overlook containers that have become overgrown by aquatic vegetation.

Cleaning clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains. Roof gutters are easily overlooked but can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.

Aerating ornamental pools, or stocking them with predatory fish. Water gardens are fashionable but become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.

Turning over plastic wading pools when not in use. A wading pool becomes a mosquito producer if it is not used on a regular basis.

Turning over wheelbarrows and not allowing water to stagnate in birdbaths. Both provide breeding habitat for domestic mosquitoes.

Cleaning and chlorinating swimming pools that are not being used. A swimming pool that is left untended by a family that goes on vacation for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.

Using landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property. Mosquitoes will develop in any puddle that lasts for more than four days.

Electromagnetic and ultrasound devices and Vitamin B are not effective in preventing mosquito bites.

Most people who get infected with West Nile virus will have either no symptoms or mild symptoms. A few individuals will have a more severe form of the disease, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord). Health officials say that individuals over age 50 are at higher risk for serious illness.

There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus, and no vaccine is available for humans. In severe cases, intensive supportive therapy including intravenous fluids, airway management, respiratory support, prevention of secondary infections (pneumonia, urinary tract, etc.) and good nursing care are indicated.

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