West Nile virus found in Jackson County, IL mosquitoes

JACKSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Mosquitoes in Jackson County, Illinois are able to do more than just annoy residents, some have been found with the West Nile virus.

Routine testing identified the virus in the insects collected on July 18 in and around Murphysboro.

The virus can be transmitted through a bite from a mosquito with the virus contracted by the insect biting an infected bird.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, nausea, headache and body aches within three to 14 days of the bite. According to the Health Department in Jackson Co., one out of five people infected will have these symptoms.

Serious illnesses like encephalitis and meningitis, with lingering complications and even death, are possible.

Personal protection against the insects is particularly important during the summer months.

The health department urges residents to Reduce, Repel and Report.

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REDUCE exposure

  • avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
  • Keep doors and windows closed.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including wading pools, old tires, and other receptacles.
  • Change birdbath water weekly

REPEL

  • when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Apply EPA registered insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535 according to label instructions

REPORT

  • contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.
  • call the health department to report sick or deceased crows, blue jays, robins or other perching birds.
  • Officials will determine if the bird should be submitted to a lab for West Nile virus testing

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