The Grundy County Health Department has recently collected mosquitoes in the Village of Coal City and the City of Morris that have tested positive for West Nile Virus. These samples are the first confirmed detection of the virus in Grundy County this year.
Although summer is wrapping up, the Grundy County Health Department wants to encourage everyone to continue to take steps to avoid becoming a victim of West Nile Virus or other mosquito-borne viruses.
To minimize your risks, follow the Illinois Department of Public Health’s recommended practices to reduce, repel and report.
According to IDPH, It starts with reducing exposure by avoiding the outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn. You can also make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings.
Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles, and change water in bird baths weekly.
Repel the mosquitoes when outdoors by wearing shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
IDPH recommends that you apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. They encourage residents to consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
Finally, IDPH suggests that residents report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes to whomever handles mosquito control activities in your area.
According to the IDPH’s website, mild cases of West Nile infections may cause a slight fever or headache. More severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of a high fever with head and body aches, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and, in the most severe cases, paralysis or death.
These symptoms will typically appear between and three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
IDPH’s web-site also notes that persons at the highest risk for serious illness are those 50 years of age or older.
For further information regarding West Nile Virus, contact the Grundy County Health Department at 815-941-3115. Information is also available from the IDPH web-site, www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm.