(Ripley County, Ind.) - As concerns over West Nile virus buzz in the tri-state, there’s another mosquito-borne illness for folks to be cautious of.
The Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed one human case of La Crosse encephalitis, or LACV, in Ripley County. The virus has also been found in a sampling of mosquitoes in the county.
LACV is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected treehole mosquito, which are mostly active in the daytime. The virus is not transmitted directly from person to person.
Many infected people have no apparent symptoms. Others will develop mild symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness.
But, in some cases LACV can develop into a severe neuroinvasive disease affecting the nervous system through encephalitis (a brain inflammation), seizures, coma, and paralysis. Those serious cases are usually in children under the age of 16.
The best way to reduce the risk of LACV infection or other mosquito-borne viruses is to prevent mosquito bites. Persons should use insect repellent; wear long sleeves, long pants and socks; or even stay indoors while mosquitoes are active.
West Nile virus has been found in mosquito batches in both Ripley and Ohio counties in southeast Indiana since July.