Health Department issues West Nile Virus reminder
High temps, minimal rain can lead to rapid development of WNV
Due to the presence of West Nile Virus, the Grundy County Health Department is reminding residents about the importance of protecting themselves from mosquitoes when outside during evening hours.
Even though there has not been much rain, and some may not be bothered during the day by biting mosquitoes, the mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus (WNV) are still present and still active in the evening hours.
Ongoing sampling of mosquitoes collected in the county are indicating an increasing presence of WNV, though an unequivocal positive test result, in accordance with the state testing protocols, has yet to be achieved.
The high temperatures and minimal rain actually creates conditions that are favorable to rapid development of WNV.
"When temperatures increase, so do mosquito activity and the risk of West Nile disease," Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck warned. "It is important to protect yourself by following the three R’s – reduce your exposure to mosquitoes, repel them by wearing insect repellent and report areas where mosquitoes typically breed.”
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, West Nile Virus has been confirmed through testing of mosquito pools and/or birds in 27 counties, including neighboring Will, Kendall and La Salle Counties. The first reported human case of West Nile virus this year was just announced.
“Typically the first human case of West Nile virus is announced in August each year,” according to information from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The earlier than typical human case occurrence supports the assertion that WNV is still a concern despite this summer’s drought.
Surveillance for West Nile Virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests on mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds. Residents who observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact the Grundy County Health Department at (815) 941-3115 in order to allow GCHD officials the chance to determine if the bird should be picked up for testing.
For further information regarding West Nile Virus, contact the Grundy County Health Department at (815) 941-3115. Information can also be obtained from the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm.