Created on Thursday, 13 August 2009 09:32

Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391

Health Department Responds to First West Nile Virus Death In Three Years

The Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed the first human West Nile virus death in Marion County in three years. It is the fifth West Nile death in Marion County since 2002.

When the Marion County Health Department receives a report of either a suspected or confirmed human case of West Nile virus, including a death, a pre-planned response is immediately put in motion.

The health department treats all catch basins, checks and larvicides all known breeding sites, checks and treats all known swimming pools and picks up any discarded tires within a 1 mile radius of the confirmed human case. The health department applies an adulticide in the area, including alleys.

Environmental health specialists also distribute educational materials to residents living within a one-mile radius of the confirmed human case.

While West Nile virus deaths are rare, they are a reminder that mosquitoes carrying the virus are active. The Marion County Health Department recommends that local residents take a five-minute walk abound their home, looking for any container capable of holding even a small amount of water. These containers should be cleaned, covered or placed inside.

Potential mosquito breeding sites can include clogged gutters, old tires, poorly operating septic systems and other areas where water collects and stands. In fact, the health department has found mosquito eggs in two teaspoons of water inside a discarded Styrofoam coffee cup.

Those wanting more information about West Nile virus or assistance with mosquito control can call the Marion County Health Department at 221-7440.