Secondly, she said, this summer's warm weather has contributed to growth of the mosquito population. "A serious West Nile virus infection generally requires hospitalization".
A Will County man in his 60s has the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus this year. Severe forms of the disease can cause inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis or death.
For more information about the local West Nile virus presence, contact the Elkhart County Health Department at 574-971-4600. No human cases have been reported.
"People who are most at risk are people with a compromised immune system, so it might be the elderly, or might be someone who had a transplant, or someone that's under chemotherapy", said Eggebrecht.
Earlier this month, the board and Health Department started its door-to-door outreach to remind residents about mosquito breeding and standing water hazards.
Drain standing water. Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water.
Remove standing water that can become breeding ground for mosquitos and install or fix screens to keep mosquitos outside. One positive result was collected from Virginia, the other from Beardstown. Stagnant backyard pools can be a big source of mosquitoes and should be maintained regularly to prevent mosquito growth.
Use air-conditioning and make sure window and door screens are in good fix to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside. This is the time of day mosquitoes that can carry the virus are most active.
That prompted the Sun Country Health Region's medical officer to issue a warning to residents in the area to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Apply mosquito repellent to areas of exposed skin. Use repellant as directed on label instructions.