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West Nile virus found in Shelbyville

A mosquito sample near Sunset Park recently tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Shelby County Health Department.

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.co

The Shelby County Health Department reports that a mosquito sample captured near the Big Blue River on July 17 tested positive for West Nile virus.

“This sample was found in the city of Shelbyville by Sunset Park,” stated Robert Lewis in an email.

Lewis is the county health department’s manager and sanitarian.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals through mosquito bites.

“Most people (8 out of 10) infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms,” states the website of the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

However, approximately 20 percent, or 1 out of 5 people who are infected develop symptoms.

Those symptoms include “... headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash,” according to the CDC.

One out of about 150 people infected become seriously ill with central nervous system disorders such as encephalitis or meningitis, the CDC website states.

People over age 60 are at greater risk, as are those with some medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes and others.

As of July 24, no cases of human West Nile infections had been reported in Indiana this year, the CDC site states.

In 2017, there were 26 West Nile cases in Indiana resulting in four deaths, according to the site.

There are no preventative vaccines for West Nile, but people can take precautions. The CDC recommends using insect repellents, as directed, that contain any of the following:

n DEET

n Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)

n IR3535

n Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)

n 2-undecanone

Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants is also recommended to prevent mosquito bites, as is getting rid of anything outside near a home that can hold standing water, such as old tires, which can become mosquito breeding grounds.

More information is available online at www.cdc.gov/westnile.