Dry conditions coupled with warm temperatures have created ideal conditions for the production of mosquitoes involved in transmission of West Nile Virus (WNV) and positive samples have occurred earlier than in past years. Amplification of WNV within the adult mosquito population will increase as the summer progresses.
On August 3, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced the first human case of West Nile Virus in Cook County.
Residents are encouraged to use a common sense approach in avoiding exposure to adult mosquitoes and any potential mosquito-borne diseases. Window screens should be inspected and repaired if damaged to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home. In addition, any openings around window air conditioners, clothes dryer vents, etc. should be eliminated for the same reason. If possible, avoid outdoor activities around dusk. If not possible, wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Loose fitting, light colored clothing is best. Appropriate use of insect repellents per manufacturer's instructions is recommended.
Residents should look for potential mosquito breeding sources around the home and take the following simple steps:
- Throw away all trash that can hold water such as cans, jars, bottles, etc.
- Clean rain gutters/downspouts to prevent water from standing in gutters or on flat roofs.
- Change water in bird baths, wading pools, etc. at least once a week.
- Maintain swimming pools properly.
- Remove or tum over containers, buckets, wheel barrows, etc. which may accumulate water.
- Screen rain barrels to prevent adult mosquitoes from depositing eggs on the water's surface.
- Aerate ornamental ponds and stock with goldfish or other surface-feeding fish to control mosquito production.
- Dispose of any used tires without rims to prevent water accumulation .