Mosquitoes in McDonough County test positive for West Nile Virus
MACOMB (WGEM) - McDonough County Health Department officials reported Wednesday a batch of mosquitoes in the county had tested positive for West Nile virus.
According to officials, the positive mosquitoes were collected Sept. 7 in Macomb.
Officials stated West Nile virus can be transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has the virus from feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
“It’s not that every mosquito is infected, we just have a concentration of the virus in the mosquito population that was found which is probably a result of those extreme hot weather that we had so we had a lot more stagnant water which allowed for more mosquito growth,” said Chris Adams, McDonough County Health Department Environmental Health Director.
Officials added that only two out of ten people bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile virus is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches. Persons older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe central nervous system disease.
“The majority of those that we’re concerned about are the older population, immunocompromised, those would be the ones more susceptible to West Nile Virus,” Adams said.
The best way to prevent West Nile virus or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, between dusk and dawn.
- When outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picardin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using it on infants and children.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings.
- Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and any other receptacles.
Click here for more information on Illinois West Nile Virus data.
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