West Nile encephalitis is an infection of the brain caused by the
West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes also
carry viruses that can transmit other forms of encephalitis, such as
La Crosse and St. Louis.
During warm-weather months, it pays to be
cautious. By following these steps, you can help prevent the spread
of mosquitoes and the risk of being bitten or infected.
Avoid the outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially
between dusk and dawn.
When outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long-sleeved pants and a
long-sleeved shirt. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, so
light-colored clothing is preferred.
Apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of
lemon eucalyptus, and be sure to follow the label instructions.
Contact a physician before using repellents on infants, and always
follow the label instructions.
Eliminate ways for mosquitoes to gain entry into your home. Be
sure screens that protect doors and windows are tight-fitting, free
of tears and are in good repair.
Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito
breeding, such as flowerpots, clogged gutters, old tires, unused
wading pools and other receptacles. Birdbath water should be
To report public tire dump sites, abandoned pools, areas of
standing water in roadside ditches, flooded yards or similar
conditions that may produce mosquitoes, you can contact your local
municipality or the Logan County Department of Public Health.
If you are bitten by a mosquito, there is no reason to be tested
for West Nile virus, since illnesses related to mosquito bites are
rare. However, if you develop symptoms such as high fever,
confusion, muscle weakness or severe headaches, you should see your
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Starting today (Monday), the Logan County Department of Public
Health will collect dead birds for laboratory testing to track West
Nile virus activity. If you see a bird that has been dead less than
24 hours or appears to have died of natural causes, contact the
health department to see if the bird qualifies for free testing.
In addition to collecting birds, during much of the summer the
health department will trap and test mosquito pools for West Nile
virus activity. This is made possible through additional grant funds
from Illinois Department of Public Health.
If you have questions regarding prevention of mosquito-related
diseases and would like more information, you can contact the Logan
County Department of Public Health at 217-735-2317.
Information source: Illinois Department of Public Health
[Text from file received from
Logan County Department of Public