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First West Nile virus death of 2018 reported in Marion County

Posted at 4:39 PM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 08:48:12-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- The first Hoosier death of 2018 caused by the West Nile virus has been reported in Marion County. 

The Marion County Public Health Department says the last death from the West Nile virus that was reported in Marion County was back in 2012. 

This was also the first confirmed case of human infection by West Nile virus in Marion County this year. 

READ | Nearly 500 mosquitos in 57 Indiana counties test positive for West Nile virus

The West Nile virus is most commonly spread by mosquito bites in the summer and fall months. Most people who are infected with the virus don't have symptoms, but about one in every five who are infected will develop symptoms including:

  • headache
  • body aches
  • joint pains
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • rash

Most recover fairly quickly from the virus but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months in some people. 

Less than one percent of people infected with West Nile virus will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. There are currently no vaccines to prevent people from getting West Nile virus. 

The Marion County Public Health Department’s offers the following steps to reduce your risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus. 

  • Stay indoors from dusk until dawn.
  • If spending time outdoors, wear long sleeves and long pants.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, or other products approved by the EPA.
  • Remove all standing water outside the home.

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