“West Nile virus activity is largely dependent on the weather.
Despite our cold winter, mosquitoes are becoming active and infected
with West Nile virus as the temperature increase. If we see a hot,
dry summer, we could see a lot of West Nile virus activity,” said
IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “We want to remind people not to
be complacent. Take precautions to protect yourself by wearing
insect repellent and taking other precautions.”
Surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois
includes laboratory tests on mosquito batches, dead crows, blue
jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as testing sick
horses and humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms. People 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 will be picked up for testing.
Common West Nile virus symptoms include fever,
nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few
days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with
West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe
illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can
occur. People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness
from West Nile Virus.
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exposure - avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most
active, especially between dusk and dawn. 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. Eliminate all sources of standing
water where mosquitoes can breed, including flowerpots, wading
pools, old tires and any other receptacles. Change water in
when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved
shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil
of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions.
Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
report dead birds to your local health department. In communities
where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your
municipal government about areas of stagnant water in roadside
ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce
Additional information about West Nile virus
can be found by logging onto
[Text received; MELANEY ARNOLD,
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH]
continues to implement its
Five Year Strategy 2014-2018 to maximize IDPH’s effectiveness,
influence and value for promoting wellness, health equity, safety
and improved health outcomes. Strategic plan priorities include
developing and expanding partnerships; improving data utilization;
reducing health disparities; improving regulatory compliance; and
branding, marketing and communicating IDPH’s value.