A deadly virus common in mosquitoes has been found in Jasper and the Dubois County Health Department is now reminding folks to be vigilant in protecting themselves.

Two samples of mosquitoes collected recently from the Jasper area tested positive for the West Nile virus. The Dubois County Health Department was informed of the discovery this morning by the Indiana Department of Health.

The Dubois County Health Department is now advising all residents to take a few steps to protect themselves:

-Apply insect repellent containing DEET to all clothes and exposed skin

-Wear light colored clothing

-Avoid wet, highly vegetative areas where mosquitoes live and don’t be outdoors during prime mosquito times (dusk to dawn) as much as possible.

The Department also has several steps you can follow to prevent mosquitoes from breeding:

-Eliminate all areas of standing water on your property.

-Repair any septic systems that are failing.

-Remove any containers that might hold water.

-Clean any gutters that may be clogged.

-Keep your grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed (mosquitoes can breed in either area)

-Keep swimming pools clean and chlorinated.

Another basic rule of thumb: If water is left standing for more than 4 days, mosquitoes can reproduce. According to health officials, even a small bucket can produce up to 1,000 mosquitoes in just a few days time.

There are several symptoms of West Nile virus. Health officials say some common ones are high fever, severe headache, a stiff neck, muscle weakness or paralysis, vomiting/nausea, and confusion. Health officials also say West Nile can infect domestic animals such as horses. Horses should be immunized to the disease immediately if they haven’t already done so according to health officials.