An Indianapolis resident has died from West Nile Virus, the Hoosier state’s death related to a first mosquito borne illness. No information about the victim has been released yet. However, Indiana state officials have said that this is the fifth death in Marion County caused by West Nile since 2002.
Although the disease is generally mild when a victim is infected, this is, in the words of Dr. Judy Monroe Indiana State Department of Health commissioner, “as sad reminder that West Nile virus can cause serious illness and even death.”
Generally Indianapolis people who are over the age of fifty have the highest risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from West Nile virus. People with weakened immune systems or who have pre-existing conditions that may make them susceptible should wear bug spray when enjoying the great outdoors, particularly in the summer months when bug populations soar.
Monroe, a leader in Indianapolis health, went on to say, “In previous years, we’ve seen most of the human cases in the state reported in the months of August and September, so this is an important time for people to protect themselves and their families.”
Symptoms of the virus include the West Nile fever which leads the infected to run a fever, have headaches, body aches, swollen lymph nodes and or a rash. If you or someone you know starts to exhibit these symptoms seek immediate medical attention. Though there is no cure for West Nile virus yet, catching symptoms early may help doctors treat victims.
Here are four ways to protect yourself against West Nile virus:
- Be cautious of standing water – Mosquitoes breed in warm wet places. A pool of standing water could be crawling with these insects.
- Use protection – If you plan to go to an area that is prone to mosquitoes wear long pants, and long sleeve shirts.
- Choose the strength of repellent that is right for you – Some people are more prone to being bitten and may need higher strength bug spray.
- Spread the word – Talk with your neighbors about ways to work together to keep your neighborhood safe.