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Health Department urges preparation for mosquito season, elimination of breeding sites

For immediate release

Fort Wayne (July 25, 2023) – The buzz is back. It’s mosquito season.

The annoying little pests can be more than troublesome. They can transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus, which in some severe cases can lead to encephalitis – inflammation of the brain.

West Nile Virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental U.S. Mosquito activity has been low so far in Allen County this year, with just one case of West Nile Virus identified in mosquitoes. The virus also has been detected in mosquitoes in at least five other Indiana counties.

West Nile was identified in 10 mosquito samples taken in Allen County in 2022.

The Allen County Department of Health’s mosquito control program works to treat and eliminate potential breeding sites and places traps to collect and test mosquitoes for diseases. Inspection and treatment of permanent breeding sites began at the beginning of May, and testing started this month.

“If you’re going outside this summer, cover exposed skin with pants and long-sleeved shirts,” said Environmental Services Director Josh Blauvelt. “The most effective way to keep mosquitoes away from you is to spray clothes and skin with an EPA registered mosquito repellant.”

There also are easy ways to control local mosquito populations:

  • Empty flowerpots and other containers of standing water
  • Clean clogged gutters
  • Cover or recycle un-rimmed tires
  • Regularly clean swimming pools and/or tightly cover them
  • Ensure lids to trash and recycling bins fit tightly
  • Regularly replace water in birdbaths

Symptoms of West Nile Virus include headache, fever, dizziness, fatigue and rash. Most recover, but some develop serious, life-threatening illnesses.

More information about illnesses and prevention can be found by searching “mosquito” at allencountyhealth.com.

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