A type of mosquito known for carrying the Zika virus has been found in Johnson County, but local health officials say that isn’t unusual.
Though more than 30 Hoosiers have contracted the virus, all of them have gotten infected while traveling, mainly overseas, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
And the top concern is still the West Nile virus, which 74 samples have tested positive for statewide, and at least one person so far has contracted, according to the state.
“We are still concerned with the West Nile virus, because that has been a problem for years, and we just don’t want to forget about West Nile and think about Zika,” Johnson County Health Department Director John Bonsett said.
The state has tested more than 100,000 mosquitoes this year, and at least one Aedes albopictus adult mosquito has been found in Johnson County. That is the type of mosquito that has tested positive for the Zika virus elsewhere, Bonsett said.
But that mosquito has been found in Johnson County before, and in other Indiana counties, he said.
No mosquitoes in Indiana have tested positive for the Zika virus, few of the Aedes albopictus mosquitoes have been found and Indiana is still much farther north than the areas where the Zika virus has been found, so the local risk of Zika is still low, Bonsett said.
Still, the concern from most people is about Zika because that is what they are hearing about, Bonsett said.
“Residents are more likely to get West Nile than Zika but that is in the news,” Bonsett said.
The county recently got a $3,000 grant for Zika prevention, which will be used to treat areas where mosquitoes are breeding. But in Bonsett’s mind, that money is being spent to prevent West Nile from spreading, he said.
Mosquito complaints have been low this year, possibly because of the recent rain, Bonsett said.
But his advice remains the same as usual — wear long sleeves and repellent if you are going outside at night. And make sure to empty any standing pools of water on your property where mosquitoes could be breeding, he said.
Here is a look at how to protect yourself from mosquitoes:
Wear long sleeves if going out at night.
Use a repellent with DEET.
Empty any standing pools of water on your property where mosquitoes can breed.