With an increase in outside activity this time of year, the Dubois County Health Department is urging people to keep an eye out for diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes.
The above average rainfall we have seen so far this summer season could increase the mosquito population in the area. Places with standing water can be turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes who are carriers for illness and diseases. Shawn Werner, the Environmental Health Specialist for the Duboise County Health Department explains.
“The transmitters of West Nile Virus, typically those are the ones that will like breed in containers, tire piles, bird baths, rain gutters, and kind of higher organic matter water.”
In Dubois County, the Health Department does not spray for mosquitoes, but they do larva sighting if someone requests it.
“So if we have complaints from the public or individuals where they have high mosquito breeding, then we can come out and kind of do a survey of the area,” Werner said.
Werner says the Health Department will only come once to do this. If the problem continues, it is the resident’s responsibility to get rid of any standing water.
So far this year, there has not been any that have tested for the West Nile Virus. Werner says the state just opened the sampling process for this year, and it could take a few weeks to get the results back.
To help eliminate the spread of mosquito carriers, the Health Department asks people to get rid of any standing water if possible and use deet to treat their skin to prevent possible bites.
It is also that time of year to keep an eye out for ticks.
According to Warner, ticks have been an increasing problem for Dubois County for the past 2 years.
The Health Department urges people to treat their skin and clothes before going outside to help prevent tick bites, check for them afterward.
“Make sure you check yourself immediately, you know when you get home and try to take a shower or anything, and inspect yourself because a tick has to attach to you for at least 12 to 24 hours to transmit disease,” Werner said.
According to the Health Department, Dubois County tends to see more Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Ehrlichiosis, due to the types of ticks in the county. Although Lyme Disease is not as likely, it is still possible especially if someone has traveled outside of the county. For more information about mosquitos and ticks, please visit the Health Department website.