The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed the first West Nile virus positive mosquito batch reported in Illinois for 2013. Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District employees collected a positive mosquito sample on May 21, 2013 from Hillside in Cook County.
“Although we have been seeing a lot of what we call “nuisance” mosquitoes due to the flooding, those mosquitoes typically do not carry West Nile virus. We are now starting to see Culex mosquitoes, which often do carry disease,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Remember, as we head into the summer months, to protect yourself by wearing insect repellent and taking other precautions.”
The first West Nile virus positive result in 2012 was a crow collected by the Chicago Department of Public Health on May 16, 2012. Last year, 55 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird and/or human case. For the 2012 season, IDPH reported the second highest number of West Nile virus human cases in state history with 290 residents and 12 deaths. This was second only to the 2002 outbreak in Illinois in which 884 residents contracted West Nile disease and 67 died. No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported so far this year.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and report.
Public health officials believe that a hot summer increases mosquito activity and the risk of disease from West Nile virus.
For more info click here: http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/press13/6.3.13_First_WNV_Case_For_2013.htm