The first human case of West Nile virus in Indiana has been reported in Porter County, State health officials announce today. Hoosiers are encouraged to take steps to protect themselves from West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Image/CDC
Image/CDC

In addition to the human case, mosquitoes in 18 counties have tested positive for the virus so far in 2014. Those counties include: Allen, DeKalb, Delaware, Dubois, Greene, Hamilton, Howard, Jefferson, LaGrange, Lake, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pike, Rush, Steuben, Sullivan and Vanderburgh. However, West Nile virus may be circulating in all 92 Indiana counties and Hoosiers should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

“This is the time of the year when Hoosiers are at a risk of getting West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne viruses,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “You can prevent these diseases by taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”

West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals will develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other severe syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.