"These positive results remind us that we need to protect ourselves
against mosquitoes, especially with all the recent flooding," Arnold
said. "As the waters from the flooding recede and pools of water are
left behind, we'll start seeing more and more mosquitoes that carry
West Nile virus. I urge everyone to get rid of any stagnant water
around their homes to reduce the number of mosquitoes, and to make
sure you wear insect repellent to protect yourself."
County Health Department notified the Illinois Department of Public
Health of the positive crows collected on June 24 in Rockford.
Mosquito batches testing positive for West Nile virus have been
reported in Adams, DuPage, Cook, Jackson, St. Clair and Tazewell
Last year 46 of the state's 102 counties were found to have a
West Nile-positive bird, mosquito, horse or human case. A total of
101 human cases of West Nile disease, including four deaths, were
reported last year in Illinois.
Surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois began on 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 West Nile-like disease symptoms. Citizens who
observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird
should contact their local health department, which will determine
if the bird is to be picked up for testing.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito
that has 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 15 days after the bite of an infected
mosquito. The first human case in Illinois is not usually reported
until July or later.
Only about two people in 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
serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are
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The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other
mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around
your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between
dusk and dawn. Use prevention methods whenever mosquitoes are
wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and
apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin, oil of
lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions.
Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
Make sure doors
and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace
screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and
windows shut, especially at night.
sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding,
including water in birdbaths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools,
old tires and any other receptacles. In communities where there
are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal
government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside
ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce
Public health officials believe that a hot summer could increase
mosquito activity and the risk of disease from West Nile virus.
Department recommendations about mosquito control after flooding
are available at
[To download Adobe Acrobat Reader for
the PDF file, click
Additional information about West Nile virus is available at
Department of Public Health
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]