This is the time of year, as the weather warms, when mosquitoes
become more active. This increased activity means that people will
be at risk for becoming infected with the West Nile Virus (WNV).
West Nile encephalitis is an infection of the brain caused by the
WNV which is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.
In addition to WNV, mosquitoes also carry the virus capable of
transmitting other forms of encephalitis such as Lacrosse and St.
To reduce the risks of becoming infected by mosquitoes, it pays to
“fight the bite” by taking the following precautions:
• Avoid the outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially
between dusk and dawn.
• When outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved
shirt. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors so light-colored
clothing is preferred.
• Apply insect repellent which includes DEET, picaridin or oil of
lemon eucalyptus. 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 flower pots, clogged gutters, old tires, unused
wading pools and other receptacles. Bird bath water should be
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• To report public tire dump sites, abandoned pools, areas of standing water in
roadside ditches, flooded yards or similar conditions which 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 WNV 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 doctor.
Beginning June 8th, 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, please contact the health department to see if it qualifies for free
testing. In addition to collecting birds, the health department will be trapping
and testing mosquito pools for WNV activity during much of the summer.
These LCDPH services are made possible through a grant from Illinois Department
of Public Health. If you have questions regarding prevention of mosquito-related
diseases or would like more information, you can visit the LCDPH website at
WWW.LCDPH.ORG or you can contact the department at 217-735-2317.
[Don Cavi, MS, LEHP
Public Health Administrator
Logan County Department of Public Health]