INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Health officials are warning northern Indiana residents to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes after discovering a rare and potentially fatal mosquito-borne virus in the area.
State public health and animal health officials issued the alert Thursday after finding that eastern equine encephalitis virus was active in several northern Indiana counties, with four horses testing positive for the virus.
State veterinarian Dr. Bret Marsh said the virus is “a serious threat to horses and people in northern Indiana” until the first hard freeze of the fall season hits.
On Tuesday, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health said two horses in LaGrange County and one horse in Kosciusko County tested positive for the virus.
No cases of the viral disease or mosquitoes infected with the virus were reported in Indiana this year. However, officials said that because northern Indiana contains a suitable habitat for mosquitoes that can transmit the virus, “people and horses in all counties in northern Indiana are potentially at risk.”
Residents have been urged to avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present and to take other measures, including eliminating breeding grounds for the insects.
Although the virus is rare, it can cause serious illness and has a mortality rate of about 33% or more, and many people who recover can still experience long-term complications, officials said. Symptoms of the viral disease include chills, fever, and aching limbs and joints.
https://www.wane.com/news/indiana/northern-indiana-residents-warned-about-mosquito-borne-virus/ Residents of northern Indiana warned of mosquito-borne viruses