Health officials warn of West Nile spread to county

The West Nile virus has been confirmed in Bartholomew County for the first time this year. The Bartholomew County Health Department reports this morning that a person has tested positive for the disease.

Most people who get infected with the disease have either no symptoms or very mild symptoms but for some people the disease can lead to encephalitis or meningitis. The most common symptoms are high fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle weakness or even paralysis and confusion.

West Nile is transmitted by mosquitoes, which bite a human after biting an infected bird.

They will be concentrating their anti-mosquito efforts in the areas where the virus has been detected. But they also ask that you take precautions on your own, such as:

  • Making sure your property is clear of any standing water including in flower pots, buckets, old tires and even clogged gutters. That’s where mosquitos can breed.
  • Using an insect repellent containing DEET if you are outdoors.
  • Taking special precautions if you must be out between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are the most active.
  • Repairing any malfunctioning septic systems as mosquitoes like to breed in sewer water.