Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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Health dept. advises of steps to avoid West Nile virus

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[June 17, 2009]  The Logan County Department of Public Health 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 include:

  • 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 Department of Public Health to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

In Illinois, surveillance for West Nile virus, which includes laboratory tests on mosquitoes and dead birds, as well as the testing of sick horses and humans with West Nile-like disease symptoms, began May 1. Since then, West Nile virus has been observed in mosquito and bird populations in Illinois. Logan County residents who observe a dying or dead bird with no signs of external trauma should contact the Logan County Department of Public Health.

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In addition to surveillance activities, the Logan County Department of Public Health is providing mosquito larvicide training to municipal officials and employees in the county. This specialized training allows municipal agents to apply approved mosquito larvicide on public areas and in response to citizen complaints. The mosquito larvicide training is scheduled from 9 to 10 a.m. on June 22 at the Logan County Department of Public Health.

West Nile virus is transmitted though the bite of a mosquito that has contracted 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. Only two out of 10 people 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 dead bird or for municipal agents interested in registering for mosquito larvicide training, please contact the Logan County Department of Public Health at 217-735-2317.

[Text from file received from the Logan County Department of Public Health]

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