Health department warns of West Nile presence in Bartholomew County

West Nile virus has been found in Bartholomew County mosquitos.

According to the Bartholomew County Health Department, a pool of mosquitoes collected south of Columbus on Aug. 4th showed signs of the virus in an analysis by the Indiana Department of Health Laboratory. The Health Department says that West Nile’s appearance is expected late in summer and early fall before cold weather stops the mosquitoes growth cycle.

Mosquitoes transmit disease by biting humans and animals and infecting them. The mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water and if it doesn’t dry in a week, mosquito larvae begin to breed. To stop mosquito growth you should make sure your property is free of standing water. That includes old tires, abandoned pools, clogged gutters, flower pot bases, open water barrels and sewage.

You can contact the Health Department to investigate standing water in your neighborhood and for possible treatment.

The Health Department continues with fogging treatments around populated areas and where large public events are being held.

To protect yourself when you are outside use an insect repellant containing D.E.E.T. or other active ingredient, and wear long sleeves and pants when out in the evening.

If you have any questions you can contact the Environmental Health Division of the Bartholomew County Health Department at 812-379-1550.

Graphic courtesy of U.S. Centers for Disease Control