The first mosquitoes in Illinois tested positive for West Nile virus were found in suburban Chicago, health officials say.
Employees of the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District gathered mosquitoes at Glenview and Morton Grove Illinois Department of Public Health last Friday. No human cases of West Nile virus were reported this year.
"When we see higher temperatures, we'll start to see more West Nile virus activity," said Nirav D. Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Health. "Although we see the West Nile virus every year in Illinois, you do not become complacent, it's easy to take precautions to protect yourself by wearing insect repellent and getting rid of stagnant water in your home."
Last year, 63 districts in Illinois reported a West Nile virus-positive mosquito batch, bird or human case. For the 201
Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. The symptoms can last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people who are infected with the West Nile virus will show no symptoms, health officials said. In rare cases, serious illnesses such as meningitis, encephalitis or even death can occur.
People over 60 and those with a weakened immune system are at higher risk of serious diseases due to the West Nile virus.
The Ministry of Health urges residents to practice the three "R & S's" when it comes to insect bites.
• Reduce: Make sure doors and windows are tight. Repair or replace screens with cracks or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows closed.
Every week, eliminate or refresh all sources of stagnant water where mosquitoes can multiply, including water in bird baths, ponds, flower pots, paddling pools, and old tires.
• Repel: wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt outdoors and apply an insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, Lemongrass Eucalyptus or IR 3535. Consult a physician before using repellents in children.
• Report: Report places where the water has been idle for more than a week, such as ditches and flooded courtyards. The local Ministry of Health or the city government can introduce larvae into the water, killing all mosquito eggs.