Mosquitoes tests positive for West Nile virus in IL

Published: May. 30, 2018 at 7:42 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2018 at 4:09 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - The first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in Illinois for 2018 has been reported according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The mosquitoes were collected on May 25 in Glenview and Morton Grove, Ill.  No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported this year according to IDPH.

"As we see higher temperatures, we will start to see more West Nile virus activity," said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  "Although we see West Nile virus in Illinois every year, don't become complacent.  It's easy to take precautions to protect yourself by wearing insect repellent and getting rid of standing water around your home."

"We live in this wonderful, beautiful place and it's important to be out and be active, and so to just do so in a way that reduces your risk for exposure to mosquitoes."

The first batch of mosquitoes to test positive was in Northern Illinois, not Southern Illinois. Jackson County Health Administrator Sarah Patrick says the discovery is a good reminder to take precautions.

"The thing to do is to start thinking about how to reduce the source of where mosquitoes breed,  trying to reduce those sources of standing water, making sure that your screens are well cared for…it's a great thing to check with you elderly neighbors as well," Jackson says because people the age of 60 tend to be more at risk for the virus.

Jackson suggest, "Use repellant, maybe have long sleeves at the appropriate time of day when the mosquitoes are out biting."

Even though mosquitoes can be a nuisance all day long, Patrick says the early evening hours is when they bite most. So when you're out, Patrick says do not forget the 3-R's -- reduce, repel and report.

"Reduce the source…repel the mosquitoes and then report if you see things like dead birds around."

In 2017, 63 Illinois counties reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird and/or human cases. There were 90 reported human cases.

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Precautions include keeping windows and doors shut, wear repellant and report stagnant water.

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