Indiana’s 1st 2014 human West Nile case confirmed in Porter County
Sun-Times Media August 8, 2014 12:42PM
Updated: September 10, 2014 6:11AM
A Portage resident has been diagnosed as the state’s first human case of West Nile Virus this year.
The city of Portage has been in “frequent contact” with the Indiana State Department of Health and the family of the person who contracted the virus since the case was confirmed, according to a statement issued by the city Friday.
West Nile-carrying mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, and the city has been “proactive” in placing larvicide in storm drains, catch basins and retention ponds, according to the statement.
Officials also plan to begin spraying for adult mosquitoes throughout the city to control populations that could carry the virus.
City officials ask that residents eliminate possible breeding sites in their yards such as stagnant water in gutters, birdbaths, old tires, high grass or unused swimming pools. Health officials are also encouraging Indiana residents to take steps to protect themselves, such as to avoid being outdoors near dusk and dawn and to use insect repellant.
A statement from the Health Department said that along with the one human case, mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus in 18 counties, including Lake County.
The virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other severe syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.
Contributing: The AP