Saturday, September 06, 2014
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West Nile Virus activity detected in Logan County

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[September 06, 2014]  LINCOLN - The Logan County Department of Public Health submitted a dead crow on August 28th to the Illinois Department of Agriculture laboratory which tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

The crow was collected in Lincoln, IL. West Nile encephalitis is an infection of the brain caused by the WNV which is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. To date in Illinois for 2014, approximately 40 counties have reported WNV activity which includes 2 human cases and no deaths. Although reported WNV activity is decreased in Illinois this year as compared with 2013, WNV will always remain a threat. In 2013, 117 human cases and 11 deaths were reported.

This is a reminder that even though summer is coming to an end, mosquitoes can remain active when temperatures are above 60 degrees F and activity will usually persist until the first hard frost. Because of the existing threat, the Logan County Department of Public Health would like to remind everyone the best way to prevent WNV disease is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to use personal protection. The Logan County Department of Public Health would like to urge you to practice the three Rs reduce, repel and report.

Do reduce your exposure by avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. Repair screens with tears or any other outer openings. Keep windows shut and eliminate areas of standing water around your property where mosquitoes can breed.

Do repel mosquitoes from biting when outdoors by wearing shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt (light-colored clothing is preferred). Wear repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 and use according to the label instructions.

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Do report dead birds to the Logan County Department of Public Health. If the bird is dead less than 24 hours and has appeared to die of natural causes, it may be eligible for testing. Bird specimens will be accepted for testing until October 15th. In addition, contact the health department or your local municipality to report any stagnant water in roadside ditches, abandoned pools, flooded yards or similar locations that may provide breeding sites for mosquitoes.

If you are bitten by a mosquito, there is no reason to be tested for WNV since illnesses related to mosquito bites are rare. However, if you develop symptoms such as high fever, confusion, muscle weakness or severe headache, you should see your doctor.

Remember to play it safe and to continue to take preventative measures until mosquito activity fully ceases. If you have questions regarding WNV, you can contact the Logan County Department of Public Health at 217-735-2317.


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