The Madison County Health Department announced today that West Nile virus was found in a mosquito pool collected in the Town of Sullivan in Madison County on Moore Road.

This mosquito pool was collected on July 22nd and is the first positive WNV mosquito pool found in Madison County this year. The Madison County Health Department has increased this year’s mosquito surveillance to enhance detection of potential spread or pervasiveness of mosquito-borne disease in the Town of Sullivan.

“Avoiding mosquito bites is the best thing you can do since we cannot eliminate mosquitoes,” said Madison County Health Director Eric Faisst. “When outside residents should avoid mosquito bites by applying insect repellent, wearing clothes to cover exposed skin, and avoid outdoor activities in the early morning and evening when mosquitoes are most active.”

Here's a few steps you can take to lower mosquito populations in and around your home and yard:

• Repair or replace all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

• Reduce or eliminate all standing water. Empty or dispose of pails, tires, cans, flower pots, or similar water-holding containers.

• Clear roof gutters, remove leaf debris from yards and gardens, and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.

• Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs and drain pool covers.

• Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.

In rare cases, humans may be infected with West Nile virus. The virus may cause severe inflammation and swelling of the brain, even death. Symptoms from WNV infection may include sudden high fever, muscle pains, and a headache of increasing severity. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention from a healthcare provider.