Environmental Health



%u20AC      St. Louis Encephalitis

%u20AC      Lacrosse Encephalitis

%u20AC      East/West Equine Encephalitis

%u20AC      West Nile Virus

ó      Dog Heartworm


These are the major diseases of concern to Indiana citizens and residents of Huntington County. Both humans and animals are susceptible to diseases carried by mosquitoes. These diseases cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, in horses and humans. The onset of the disease is usually sudden. Most who are infected by the West Nile Virus (WNV) have no symptoms at all or only mild, flu-like symptoms, which appear 3 to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. More severe infection is most common in young children, adults over 50 or those who are in poor health. Contact your doctor if symptoms include high fever, headache, stupor, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, and dizziness.


There is no documented evidence that a pregnancy is at risk due to infection with the WNV. Nevertheless, pregnant women should take precautions to reduce their risk for WNV. The disease is not spread between humans and there is no human vaccine for West Nile encephalitis.


Horses can be infected when bitten by an infected mosquito, but they cannot spread the virus to other horses or people. Check with your veterinarian for details regarding horses and equine WNV vaccine.


The disease spreads when mosquitoes bite an infected bird. Blue Jays, Crows, Owls, Hawks Robins, and Cardinals are being tested by the State Board of Health.



Mosquito Facts


All mosquitoes need water in which to survive their early life stages.  In Indiana they usually need 10 or more days of standing, still water.  Adult flying mosquitoes frequently rest in grass, shrubbery or other foliage%u2026but they never develop there.

Some mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water where they hatch in a day or two.  Other mosquitoes lay their eggs in old tires, tin cans, or other water holding containers and may remain unhatched for weeks or months until they are covered with water.  With both types of mosquitoes the wigglers (larvae) grow quickly and turn into tumblers (pupae).  Soon the skin of the pupae splits open and out climbs another hungry mosquito. 


Personal Protection


·         Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.


·         When outside between dusk and dawn, wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts.  Clothing should be light-colored and tightly woven.


·         Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picardin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Follow instructions on the label. Use lower concentrations on children and do not apply to their hands or around their mouths or eyes.  Use enough repellent to cover skin and clothing, but do not put repellent on skin which is covered by clothing and do not spray it on the face.


Stop Breeding Mosquitoes on Your Property!


·         Dispose of old tires, tin cans, plastic buckets, ceramic pots, and other containers that may hold water.


·         Keep rain gutters unclogged and flat roofs dry.


·         Keep window and door screens closed tight and in good condition.


·         Eliminate water collecting on pool covers and boat covers.


·         Drill holes in the bottom of recycling  containers to prevent them from collecting rainwater.


·         Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.


·         Do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths or swimming pools. 


·         Remove all tree stumps that may hold water.


·         Eliminate ground-surface discharge of failed septic systems.



"Please, let's work together to help reduce concerns in Huntington County this mosquito season!"

Contact Us

Brant Ricker, Environmental Health Specialist
1330 S Jefferson St
Huntington, IN 46750

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