HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) — One sample group of mosquitoes from a surveillance trap collected within the city of Evansville has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Officials say this is the first positive test in Vanderburgh County this year, and so far there have been 173 positive sample groups within 54 counties in Indiana. The Vanderburgh County Health Department is advising the public to take precautions against mosquito bites.

VCHD says West Nile 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. VCHD officials say some people will develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system, including inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis or even death. The department says people who think they may have West Nile virus should see their healthcare provider.

VCHD is asking residents to:

  • Limit time outdoors between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. Wear light-colored clothing, pants and long sleeves when possible.
  • Use insect repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
    • Products containing DEET should not be used on infants aged <2 months of age and those containing Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus should not be used on infants <3 years of age.
  • Make sure all property is free of any standing water, which could be breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry the virus. Empty flowerpots, buckets, old tires, trash cans, and clogged gutters. Keep the grass cut and landscaping trimmed as adult mosquitoes use overgrown areas as safe places to rest.

For additional information, please visit the VCHD website.