Indiana records first human case of West Nile virus

FILE - This undated file photo from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows an aedes aegypti mosquito on human skin. The popular push for locally-produced food has spawned flocks of backyard chickens in urban neighborhoods nationwide, but as these chickens grow in popularity, pests hitch rides on them and end up biting the family dogs and cats. (AP Photo/U.S. Department of Agriculture, File)
FILE - This undated file photo from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows an aedes aegypti mosquito on human skin. The popular push for locally-produced food has spawned flocks of backyard chickens in urban neighborhoods nationwide, but as these chickens grow in popularity, pests hitch rides on them and end up biting the family dogs and cats. (AP Photo/U.S. Department of Agriculture, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The state’s first human case of West Nile virus this year has been reported in northwestern Indiana.

State health officials announced Friday a case has been reported in Porter County. Health officials are encouraging Indiana residents to take steps to protect themselves, such as to avoid being outdoors near dusk and dawn and to use insect repellant.

In addition to the human case, mosquitoes in 18 counties have tested positive for the virus this year.

The virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other severe syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.

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