IDPH warns of West Nile positive mosquitoes in Illinois

Seven Illinois counties reported batches of mosquitoes testing positive for the disease.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 12:13 PM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (WIFR) - Although no human cases have been reported, the Illinois Department of Public Health is warning residents about the risk of West Nile virus.

Since May 24, DuPage, Cook, Will, Logan, Edgar, Macoupin and Washington counties have reported batches of mosquitos that bare threat of transmission. Last year, 48 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird, horse or human case.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of the common house mosquito, that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.

Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks, but IDPH officials say four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms.

In rare cases, severe illness such as meningitis or encephalitis can occur. People older than 60 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

IDPH is calling on residents to “Fight the Bite” by taking extra precautions this summer like checking screens on windows and doors and eliminate or refresh all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

Its also stressed to remain well covered and apply an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions and consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

Report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito larvae.

Updates on where cases have been reported can be found on the IDPH West Nile Virus Surveillance page.

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