Indiana’s first West Nile virus case of 2022 has been reported in a Lake County resident, the state Department of Health said Thursday.

West Nile virus has also been found in a sample of mosquitoes collected in Steuben County, the health department said.

Health officials urged Indiana residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

“All Hoosiers should take precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites at their 4th of July celebrations and for the rest of the summer,” State Public Health Veterinarian Jennifer Brown said in the statement. “We are at risk for mosquito-borne disease through the first hard freeze.”

Even a container as small as a bottle cap can become a mosquito breeding site, the health department said, so residents should:

• Repair failed septic systems;

• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;

• Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains;

• Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;

• Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically;

• Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.

• Frequently replace the water in pet bowls; and

• Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.

• Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold stagnant water;

State health officials also recommend:

• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning);

• Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to clothes and exposed skin; and

• Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas.

Most people who are infected with West Nile virus will not develop symptoms, the health department said, but those who do may experience a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash.

It said some people will develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system, including inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis, or even death.

People older than and those with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of developing severe disease.

Those who think they may have West Nile virus should see their health-care providers, the health department said.