Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-221-2463
The Marion County Public Health Department has documented the first mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus in two surveillance traps located in Center and Franklin townships.
Traps are located throughout the county and are used to monitor the local mosquito population.
Since 2002, Marion County has experienced five West Nile virus deaths and more than 50 people have become sick with the virus.
In 2010, there were three confirmed human cases and no deaths in Marion County.
"West Nile virus is a serious public health threat, and while we are doing all we can, there are steps the public can take to lower their risk of infection," said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director, Marion County Public Health Department.
Unused tires, clogged gutters, small recreational pools and poorly operating septic systems also are potential mosquito breeding sites. Any containers capable of holding even a small amount of water should be regularly cleaned, stored indoors or covered. Health department officials have found mosquitoes breeding in two tablespoons of water inside a Styrofoam cup.
"Last year, we collected more than 13,00 discarded tires. Not only are we eliminating mosquito breeding sites, but we are improving the environment, too," said Chuck Dulla, administrator of the mosquito control program. Since 2000, the health department has collected more than 104,000 tires.
For more information about mosquito control services, contact the Marion County Public Health Department at 221-7440.