West Nile Virus activity detected in Logan County

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[August 17, 2016]   LINCOLN - The Logan County Department of Public Health (LCDPH) collected a mosquito batch in Lincoln on August 11, 2016 which tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). In addition, the department collected a dead bird in Lincoln on July 26th which also tested positive. This is an indicator that the area is experiencing significant WNV activity.

To date in Illinois for 2016, there have been 4 human cases of WNV reported and Logan County is 1 of 33 counties which has documented WNV activity. As summer progresses, these numbers will likely increase as mosquitoes remain active throughout summer in to autumn.

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.

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.

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West Nile encephalitis is an infection of the brain caused by the WNV which is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. 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 or visit their website at WWW.LCDPH.ORG.

[Don Cavi, MS, LEHP, Public Health Administrator, Logan County Department of Public Health]


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