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West Nile found in city

August 30, 2011

    West Nile Virus has been found in Decatur, Terry Smith, superintendent of the Adams County Health Department, announced Monday afternoon.
    The Indiana Department of Health has confirmed the discovery, the virus having been found in a mosquito in Decatur a week or so ago, Smith said.
    Decatur officials do regular testing as well as regular treatments of storm sewers and areas of water that remain stagnant.
    The virus normally becomes evident later in the summer and moves from area to area with flight patterns of birds, which are carrier reservoirs for West Nile Virus.
    Decatur Street/Sanitation Superintendent Jeremy Gilbert said one positive test was recorded here, from a test done on August 19. Testing and surveillance have been going on here "virtually all summer," Gilbert said. Testing is continuing and spraying has been going on for two weeks, he added.
     The appearance of West Nile "means that residents should limit the possibility of being bitten by an infected mosquito by applying repellants and making lifestyle modifications," Smith said.
    In a statement, Smith added, "City residents are reminded that water that remains stagnant provides for excellent mosquito hatcheries. Water in rimless tires is notoriously efficient for mosquito development. Anything that holds exposed water will provide opportunities for female mosquitos to lay their eggs proficiently."
    For questions, people may call 724-3356.

First death
    Indiana recorded its first West Nile Virus death of 2011 last week. Health officials say a 60-year-old Elkhart County woman died of complications related to the virus. Elkhart County Health Officer Dr. Dan Nafziger did not identify the woman, but James Lambdin told The Elkhart Truth that his mother, Wanda, died Wednesday at IU Health Goshen Hospital.
    According to the Indiana Department of Health, one person died in Indiana from the West Nile virus last year.
    West Nile first appeared in Indiana birds in 2001 and the first human cases came the following year when 293 people were diagnosed and 11 died.
    Health officials say that about 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms.

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