County’s First West Nile Infections of 2018 Confirmed

Larvicide applications will take place in Chelsea Bloomfield Travis Richmond Fresh Kills Port Mobile Blue Heron Park Wolfe's Pond Park South Beach and Old Town on June 19 June 20 and June 21 between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. (Staten Island Advance pho

One of such diseases is West Nile virus, which is a virus that is commonly spread through mosquito bites. While many people who contract the disease may never show symptoms, people over age 50 or who have chronic medical problems are considered to be at higher risk of developing more serious health issues.

Monitoring for West Nile virus in IL includes laboratory tests for mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as testing sick horses and humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms. Nationally, there were 2,002 human cases of the virus and 121 deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The health department urges residents to take precautions and remove stagnant water. These cases are neither reported nor even recognized as West Nile virus. "Unlike the common cold, which is easily transmitted, the West Nile virus can only be spread by mosquito bites, and there are easy steps to take to reduce your risk of getting bitten".

However, last year, Los Angeles County documented 268 West Nile virus cases including 27 deaths, according to the county's public health department.

Symptoms may never materialize, but can include fever, headache, nausea, body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes. Reported cases from mosquito and tick bites in IL have increased by more than half (58 percent) from 2005 to 2016.

Avoid mosquito-infested areas at dawn and dusk. Most mosquitoes do not carry the virus, therefore most people bitten by a mosquito are not exposed to WNV.

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Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and dusk, and wear long trousers, long-sleeved shirts and other protective clothing outside.

Use EPA-registered insect repellents with one of the following ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol and 20undecanone. Fix or replace screens that have tears or holes.

Mosquitoes are all around us and this is the time of year is when they thrive, especially with all of the standing water from the excessive rainfall.

Make sure your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and fix or replace screens that have holes or tears.

Cover rain barrels and empty weekly.

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