The Illinois Department of Public Health was notified by Tazewell
and DuPage County Health Departments of the findings as part of its
routine surveillance for West Nile virus. A positive mosquito sample
was collected on May 16 in Creve Coeur and on May 19 in Bartlett.
"It's not unexpected to receive a report of the first positive West
Nile virus mosquitoes this time of May in Illinois," Arnold said.
"West Nile virus activity has been present in the state since August
2001, and we expected to see activity again this year. This positive
report should serve as a reminder to people to take precautions to
protect themselves against mosquitoes."
In 2007, the first positive mosquito sample was reported May 7 in
DuPage County. Last year 46 of the state's 102 counties were found
to have a West Nile-positive bird, mosquito, horse or human case. A
total of 101 human cases of West Nile disease, including four
deaths, were reported last year in Illinois.
Surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois began on May 1 and
includes laboratory tests on mosquitoes, dead crows, blue jays,
robins and other perching birds, as well as the testing of sick
horses and humans with West Nile-like disease symptoms. Citizens who
observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird
should contact their local health department, which will determine
if the bird is to be picked up for testing.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito
that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most
people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some
may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected
mosquito. The first human case in Illinois is not usually reported
until July or later.
Only about two people in 10 who are bitten by an infected
mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile is
usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but
serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are
People older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe
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The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other
mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around
your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between
dusk and dawn. Use prevention methods whenever mosquitoes are
wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and
apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin, oil of
lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions.
Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
Make sure doors
and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace
screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and
windows shut, especially at night.
sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding,
including water in birdbaths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools,
old tires and any other receptacles. In communities where there
are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal
government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside
ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce
Public health officials believe that a
hot summer could increase mosquito activity and the risk of
disease from West Nile virus.
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found at
Department of Public Health
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]