Getting ready for an outbreak of West Nile virus

Between now and then the Marion County Health Department will use a time-proven, research based, proactive approach to reducing the local mosquito population and limiting potential human cases of West Nile virus.

In 2003, Marion County reported two human cases of West Nile virus and no deaths. In 2002, the county recorded three West Nile virus deaths and at least 40 confirmed human cases.

As was done in 2003, mosquito control efforts will be directed to areas that have a reputation for high mosquito activity. This area is generally found in Center Township.

However, statistics prove that mosquitoes and birds with the West Nile virus are located throughout the county.

Because of this, the health department needs the help of all local residents. A five- minute walk around your home can have a significant impact on the mosquito population.

During the walk look for any container, no matter how large or small, that can hold water. Mosquitoes need very little water in which to lay their eggs. Dump the water and remove the container if you can.

"Gutters, poorly operating septic systems, small pools, ornamental garden pools and even containers used to water livestock and pets need to be checked and cleaned regularly," said mosquito program administrator Chuck Dulla.

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