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Warm weather, great times outdoors, and it's mosquito season          Send a link to a friend

Protect your family from West Nile

[JULY 28, 2006]  The Logan County Health Department reminds you that warm weather can increase the number of mosquitoes and with it increase the risk of West Nile virus to humans. The best way to reduce the risk of West Nile disease is to eliminate mosquito breeding areas around your home and take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Precautions to prevent mosquitoes:
  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn. Use prevention methods whenever mosquitoes are present.

  • When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions. Contact a physician before using repellents on infants.

  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that might have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

  • Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in birdbaths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and other receptacles. Contact your local municipal government or the Logan County Health Department to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

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Surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois began May 1 and includes laboratory tests on mosquitoes, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as the testing of sick horses and humans with symptoms like West Nile disease. Logan County residents who observe a sick or dying perching bird should contact the Logan County Health Department, which will determine if the bird is to be collected for testing.

West Nile virus is transmitted though the bite of a mosquito that has been picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. The first human case in Illinois is not usually reported until July or later.

Only two people out of 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serous illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. People older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of disease.

To report stagnant water or a sick or dying bird, please contact the Matt Ringenberg with the Logan County Health Department at (217) 735-2317.

[Logan County Health Department news release]


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