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Blood bank testing for West Nile virus

[JUNE 26, 2003]  SPRINGFIELD -- Central Illinois Community Blood Center announced that it began testing donated blood for West Nile virus on June 19. Blood collected by CICBC is tested by the Indiana Blood Center in their new Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing Laboratory in Indianapolis. This high-complexity laboratory is a regional testing center for the Midwest and currently tests donated blood from Indiana, Ohio and central Illinois for HIV and hepatitis C, as well as West Nile.

Food and Drug Administration regulations require that the WNV test be implemented by July 1. Indiana Blood Center and Central Illinois Community Blood Center prudently implemented testing on June 19 to ensure that the blood supply is as safe as possible. The two centers are leading the way in blood safety, as they are among the first in the country to implement the new WNV test.

"A test for West Nile virus is especially important because donors may not know they have the disease," said David Parsons, chief operating officer for Central Illinois Community Blood Center. "A healthy person exposed to West Nile probably won't have any ill effects," he said. "However, most people receiving a transfusion of blood are already health-compromised."


Most people who contract West Nile don't exhibit any symptoms. Some do get flulike symptoms -- a headache, body aches and a fever. However, in about one in 150 people swelling develops in and around the brain and spinal cord, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"Because the test is so new, we have no way of anticipating the impact on the blood supply," said Cathy Mikus, technical director for Central Illinois Community Blood Center. "Donors who test positive for West Nile will be notified and asked to enroll in follow-up testing to resolve their status."


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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4,100 West Nile infections occurred in the United States in 2002, leading to 284 deaths. Although mosquitoes remain the most common means of transmission, both the FDA and CDC last year indicated a small number of cases likely had spread through blood transfusions and tissue donations.

"We do think that screening blood is good to add a measure of safety. But it is difficult to see how much safety it will add until we evaluate these tests and see how reliable they are," according to an FDA spokeswoman.

Central Illinois Community Blood Center is a community-based blood center whose mission is to provide a safe, adequate and cost-effective blood supply for patients in 11 local hospitals. After local blood needs are met, CICBC can and does share any excess blood with other areas of the country.

[CICBC press release]


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Protecting yourself from West Nile virus

[JUNE 24, 2003]  URBANA -- The West Nile virus will soon become more active in Illinois. Although only two infected birds have been found so far this year, it is time to start taking precautions to protect yourself from this virus that killed 64 people in Illinois in 2002, said a University of Illinois entomologist.

The virus is transmitted through mosquito bites to humans, birds, horses and other mammals. Philip L. Nixon, Extension entomologist in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the U of I, said that although a variety of mosquitoes can carry the virus, the northern house mosquito is the most likely vector.

"A female mosquito picks up West Nile virus particles while feeding on an infected bird," he said. "Then, the virus is transmitted into the blood of another bird, human, horse or other mammal the next time the mosquito feeds."

Nixon said that most people who become infected will show no symptoms, but some may become ill three to 15 days after being bitten. Typical symptoms are a fever and headache. "In some, particularly elderly people," Nixon said, "West Nile virus can cause serious disease, including muscle weakness, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, coma or death."

A vaccination against West Nile virus is available for horses. Dogs, cats and other mammals can also get West Nile virus, but as with humans and horses, most will make a full recovery.

Some precautions can be taken to avoid being infected by the virus, according to Nixon. "This mosquito is primarily a dawn and evening biter, so restrict your outdoor activities at those times," he said. "Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, shoes and socks to reduce the amount of exposed skin. If you are outdoors when mosquitoes are biting, apply an insect repellent containing DEET.


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"Although fine for skin application, DEET should not be ingested. For young children who are unable to understand that they shouldn't lick the material off of their hands or arms, use another product such as repellents advertised for child use or other repellents that don't contain DEET. Although these are less effective, they should be less toxic if ingested."

Emptying the water from outside containers can help keep the mosquito population down. "The northern house mosquito breeds in containers of standing water," Nixon said. "It lays several black eggs in a mass about one-eighth inch across that floats on the water surface. The water typically has a large amount of decaying organic matter in it, giving the water a dark color and putrid smell. So, by keeping gutters clean of fallen leaves, removing old tires and other water-collecting debris, stocking water lily ponds with goldfish or minnows, and emptying and cleaning wading pools, birdbaths and pet water bowls weekly, you can greatly reduce the number of these mosquitoes in your yard."

The northern house mosquito is a small, medium brown, quiet biter that is most common in Illinois from mid-June through the rest of the summer and fall. "A quiet biter means that it lands softly on the skin and the bite is painless enough in many people that they do not notice it," Nixon said. "It may not buzz around your ear, and if it does, the hum of its wings is not very loud."

Information on mosquito control is available on the University of Illinois Extension website at http://www.ipm.uiuc.edu/wnv/index.html

[University of Illinois press release]

Health Matters

A monthly feature from  Logan County Health Department

Health officials advise mosquito control and personal protection

[MAY 19, 2003]  As you know, mosquito season is upon us again. Last year, West Nile virus, which can be transmitted by mosquitoes, was prevalent in Illinois. Although we don't know what 2003 will bring, it is always best to be prepared.

First of all, no amount of larvaciding or adult mosquito fogging will kill all mosquito larva or adult mosquitoes. It can have a tremendous impact, but it is only one way to help eliminate the mosquito population. Each person must do his or her part. Since mosquitoes need only a small amount of water for breeding, look to your own back yard.

*Remove or empty water in old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, flower pots or bird baths

*Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use. Also, swimming pools that are not used should be covered or drained during the mosquito season.

*Change the water in bird baths and plant pots at least once a week.

*Level the ground around your house so water can drain away and not collect in low-lying areas.

*If you have an ornamental water garden, stock it with mosquito-eating fish such as minnows, "mosquito fish" or goldfish. They eat mosquito larva.

*Keep weeds and tall grass cut short; adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours.

*Small impoundments of water may be treated with "Bti," a bacterial insecticide. Many hardware stores carry doughnut-shaped Bti briquets (Mosquito Dunks) for this purpose.


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Since we will not eradicate the mosquito, we must also be responsible about personal protection. You can protect yourself by:

*Avoiding places and times when mosquitoes bite. This is usually just before and after sunset and just before dawn. Each species has its own peak period of biting.

*Be sure doors and screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.

*Check to see that your mosquito repellent contains DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide)

Generally, repellents with a concentration of 25 percent to 35 percent DEET work best on adults; use lower concentrations of 10 percent or less for children between the ages of 2 and 12. Do not use on infants.

For more information, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm and http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/

You may also contact the Logan County Health Department at (217) 735-2317.

[Logan County Health Department news release]


Red Cross


West Nile Virus

West Nile virus links

Federal websites

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Honors & Awards



CICBC blood drives monthly at paramedics' building

Blood supplies across the nation are critical. In some areas, there is less than a one-day supply. Fortunately, thanks to the dedicated donors in central Illinois, these tremendous shortages have not yet touched our hospitals. However, the blood supply is a resource that must be renewed. Every three seconds someone needs a blood transfusion of some kind. To accommodate this constant usage, community members must continually help replenish the supply. Since a donor can donate whole blood only every eight weeks, Central Illinois Community Blood Center needs community members to come forward and help with this lifesaving effort.

Central Illinois Community Blood Center provides all of the blood and blood products for 12 area hospitals, including those in Lincoln, Hopedale and Springfield. No other organization provides blood in these hospitals. CICBC is a community-based blood center whose mission is to provide a safe and adequate blood supply for patients in local hospitals in a cost-effective manner.

When you donate blood through CICBC, you help to keep a safe and adequate blood supply for your community. You also help keep local medical costs under control.


Regularly scheduled blood drives are on the first Monday of each month (except Labor Day) at the Logan County Paramedic Association building, 1300 N. Postville Road. (See schedule.) Please help by donating blood.

CICBC also provides other services for the communities served, such as therapeutic phlebotomy at no charge for patients with hereditary hemochromatosis.

For more information, call Terry Bell at 753-1530.

[CICBC press release]

CICBC blood drive schedule
  • July 2, 1-7 p.m., at Lincoln Christian Church, 204 N. McLean

  • July 7, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

  • July 15, hours and location to be announced

  • Aug. 4, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

  • Sept. 8, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

  • Sept. 24, hours and location to be announced

  • Oct. 6, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

  • Nov. 3, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

  • Nov. 12, hours and location to be announced

  • Dec. 1, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

Mobile health unit schedule

The Rural Health Partnership has announced the schedule for its mobile health unit for 2002.


Morning: 9-11 a.m.



Afternoon: 1-3:30 p.m.


1st and 3rd


1st and 3rd



2nd and 4th

San Jose

2nd and 4th






Mount Pulaski



New Holland




1st and 3rd




2nd and 4th

Friendship Manor-Lincoln


1st, 2nd, 4th

Village Hall-Latham




2nd and 4th




Maintenance/ special events


special events

The mobile health unit does not operate on the following dates for holidays during 2002:  Jan. 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Feb. 18 (Presidents' Day), March 29 (Good Friday), May 27 (Memorial Day), July 4 (Independence Day), Sept. 2 (Labor Day), Oct. 14 (Columbus Day), Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), Nov. 28-29 (Thanksgiving break) and Dec. 24-25 (Christmas break).

For more information on the mobile health unit schedule and services, contact Dayle Eldredge at (217) 732-2161, Ext. 409.

Community resource list

This family resource list to save and use is provided by the Healthy Communities Partnership and the Healthy Families Task Force, 732-2161, Ext. 409.         


Phone number


Lincoln agencies


911 (emergency)
732-3911 (office -- non-emergency)

911 Pekin St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital


315 Eighth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

American Red Cross

732-2134 or 
1 (800) 412-0100

125 S. Kickapoo
Lincoln, IL 62656

Catholic Social Services


310 S. Logan
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln/Logan County Chamber
of Commerce


303 S. Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Community Action (CIEDC)


1800 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Crisis Pregnancy Center/
Living Alternatives


408 A Pulaski St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

DCFS (Department of Children
& Family Services)

735-4402 or 
1 (800) 252-2873
(crisis hotline)

1120 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Heartland Community College
- GED program


620 Broadway St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Housing Authority


1028 N. College St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Illinois Breast & Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP)

735-2317 or 
1 (800) 269-4019

109 Third St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Illinois Employment and Training Center (replaces JTPA office)


120 S. McLean St., Suite B
Farm Bureau Building
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Area YMCA


319 W. Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln/Logan Food Pantry


P.O. Box 773
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Parents' Center


100 S. Maple
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Park District


1400 Primm Rd.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan County Department of Human Services (Public Aid)


1500 Fourth St.
P.O. Box 310
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan County Health Department


109 Third St.
P.O. Box 508
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan-Mason Mental Health

735-2272 or
732-3600 (crisis line)

304 Eighth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan-Mason Rehabilitation Center


760 S. Postville Drive
Lincoln, IL 62656

The Oasis
(Senior Citizens of Logan County)


501 Pulaski St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Project READ


620 Broadway St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Salvation Army


1501 N. Kickapoo
Lincoln, IL 62656

Senior Services of Central Illinois

732-6213 or 
1 (800) 252-8966
(crisis line)

109 Third St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

U. of I. Extension Service


980 N. Postville Drive
Lincoln, IL 62656

Springfield agencies

Department of Aging


421 E. Capitol, #100
Springfield, IL 62701-1789

American Cancer Society

(24 hour)

1305 Wabash, Suite J
Springfield, IL 62704

Community Child Care Connection

(217) 525-2805 or
1 (800) 676-2805

1004 N. Milton Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-4430

Hospice Care of Illinois

1 (800) 342-4862
(24 hour) or
732-2161, Ext. 444

720 N. Bond
Springfield, IL 62702

Illinois Department of Public Health

(217) 782-4977

535 W. Jefferson
Springfield, IL 62761

Legal Assistance Foundation

(217) 753-3300 or
1 (800) 252-8629

730 E. Vine St., Suite 214
Springfield, IL 62703

Sojourn Shelter & Services Inc.

732-8988 or
1 (866) HELP4DV
(24-hour hotline)

1800 Westchester Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62704

U. of I. Division of Specialized Care for Children

524-2000 or 
1 (800) 946-8468

421 South Grand Ave. West
Second Floor
Springfield, IL 62704

Logan County libraries

Atlanta Library 

(217) 648-2112

100 Race St.
Atlanta, IL 61723

Elkhart Library

(217) 947-2313

121 E. Bohan
Elkhart, IL 62634

Lincoln Public Library


725 Pekin St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Mount Pulaski Library


320 N. Washington
Mount Pulaski, IL 62548

(updated 2-15-02)

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