9:02 AM CDT, August 30, 2011
The Marion County Public Health Department confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus for 2011 Monday.
The announcement came just five days after the first human case was reported in Indiana. Last week, a Goshen woman also died from the virus.
The victim from Monroe Co. reportedly lives in Center Township.
Adams, Allen, Bartholomew, Boone, Carroll, Hamilton, Hendricks, Henry, Marion and Noble Counties have all had mosquito groups test positive for the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main way humans contract the virus are through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes contract the virus by feeding on infected birds. West Nile can also be spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants and breastfeeding. A small number of cases have been transferred from mother to baby during pregnancy.
Five Marion County residents have died from the virus since 2002.
People usually develop symptoms anywhere from three to 14 days after becoming infected. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea and vomiting. More severe symptoms include neck stiffness, tremors, convulsions, coma and paralysis. Symptoms can last for several weeks.
Residents are asked to walk around their homes and identify containers capable of holding water. These containers should be cleaned and house as they provide the perfect place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
To prevent mosquito bites and West Nile exposure, you should wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants and use a repellent with D.E.E.T. when going outside, especially in the early evening.
Mosquito season usually lasts until the first hard frost in mid-October.
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