Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391
The hot, dry weather in Central Indiana is impacting the local mosquito population, as Marion County Public Health Department officials have found mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus about two weeks earlier than normal.
Mosquito control has confirmed the first two samples of mosquitoes testing positive for the virus. One of the samples was taken in Warren Township, the other in Perry Township. It is likely mosquitoes carrying the virus are active throughout the county, but these are the first two samples to have laboratory confirmation.
"Although we have seen mosquitoes with the virus as early as April, this is unusual, and likely the result of the hot, dry conditions and the warmer than normal weather we have had in Marion County since early spring," said Jim Erwin, Biologist, mosquito control.
Health officials encourage people to look for any container, no matter its size, capable of holding water and thus creating a potential mosquito breeding ground. The containers should be regularly cleaned, covered or put inside. Those going outside near sunset should use a mosquito repellent or wear long pants and sleeves.
There have been no human cases of West Nile virus in Marion County residents so far this year.
For mosquito-related information, contact the Marion County Public Health Department at 221-7440.