This year, there are record levels of West Nile activity nationwide and very high mosquito activity in Illinois.
So far this year, 39 counties in Illinois have reported mosquito batches, birds, horses, or people testing positive for the West Nile virus. There has been one human fatality in Dupage County.
“As of now, there is no report of any area resident being reported with the virus,” explained Brad Rendleman, Southern Seven environmental health director. “However, a Cape Girardeau, Mo. individual was tested positive last week.”
The horse is currently receiving treatment.
Southern Seven Health Department would like to remind the public that West Nile still presents a public danger and to take preventive measures from mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes have the capability to transmit disease at any time of the year. West Nile is transmitted when a mosquito feeds on an infected bird and then feeds on a human host. Only two in 10 people infected with West Nile will show symptoms of the disease. Those adults 50 years and older are the ones most likely to exhibit symptoms of the disease.
West Nile can best be prevented by staying indoors at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are most active.
If outdoors, wear loose-fitting long sleeve shirts, long pants, and shoes and socks. Be sure to use a mosquito repellent containing at least 25 percent to 35 percent DEET, the active ingredient in mosquito repellent, applied to clothing and especially bare skin.
Individuals should consult a physician before using repellents on young children and always read the label before using. Check for and repair any tears in residential screens, including porches and patios.
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