MORRIS – Mosquitoes collected in the city of Morris have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Grundy County Health Department.
This pool of mosquitoes is the second confirmed detection of the virus in Grundy County this year, with the first collected in Braceville in late August, according to a news release from the health department. Last year, 24 mosquito pools test positive for West Nile Virus through the course of the summer.
The health department anticipates increased frequency of West Nile found in mosquitoes as the area enters late summer, which raises the risk of disease transmission to the public. The health department is encouraging residents to take steps to prevent becoming infected with West Nile.
To minimize risks, follow the Illinois Department of Public Health recommended practices:
• Reduce: exposure by avoiding the outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn. Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and repair or replace those with tears or openings. Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, and change water in bird baths weekly.
• Repel: mosquitoes when outdoors by wearing shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions.
• Report: to whomever handles mosquito control activities in your area areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations.
Mild cases of West Nile can cause a slight fever or headache, according to the IDPH. More severe infections have a "rapid onset of a high fever with head and body aches, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and, in the most severe cases, paralysis or death," according to the IDPH. Symptoms typically appear between and three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
For further information contact the Grundy County Health Department at 815-941-3115 or visit www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm