West Nile virus found in Gallatin Co. mosquitoes

GALLATIN COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Health officials in Illinois say a batch of mosquitos caught in Old Shawneetown tested positive for West Nile virus.

It's the first case reported in Gallatin County.

The infected mosquitoes were collected from a trap in Old Shawneetown on July 7, 2011, according to the Egyptian Public and Mental Health Department.

Surveillance for West Nile virus began in May and includes trapping and testing adult mosquitoes throughout Saline, Gallatin, and White counties.

A limited number of sick or dying birds are also being collected for West Nile virus testing.

The state public health director says it is important to take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

Recommended West Nile virus precautions include:

  • Emptying or changing all standing water in container such as birdbaths or buckets on your property to reduce areas in which mosquitoes may breed.
  • Making sure your windows and door screens are in good condition.
  • Using insect repellent when outdoors –particularly in the evening.
  • Limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.

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