McHenry County Department of Health

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Protect yourself against West Nile Virus

Take steps to minimize your exposure

Post Date:08/09/2017 1:58 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 9, 2017
McHenry County Department of Health
2200 N Seminary Avenue, Woodstock IL
Contact Keri Zaleski 815-334-4456; cell 815-236-3238
    

WOODSTOCK IL –The McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) reminds people to take precautions to protect against West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus is an illness carried by the Culex mosquito. Culex mosquitoes lay their eggs in ditches with water that is stagnant for more than 7 days,  old tires, clogged gutters, catch basins and artificial containers. Above normal temperatures can also contribute to an increase of Culex mosquitoes. 

Illness from West Nile virus is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches but serious illnesses, such as encephalitis and meningitis and death, are possible.  Persons 50 and older have the highest risk of severe disease.  The McHenry County Department of Health reminds residents to do the following to eliminate breeding sites for disease carrying mosquitoes:

  • Eliminate standing water on your property.

  • Discard old tires; store artificial containers so that they will not hold water.

  • Maintain swimming pools, keeping them clean and chlorinated; aerate ornamental ponds or stock with mosquito eating fish.

  • Change water in bird baths twice a week.

  • Keep roof gutters and storm drains free of debris.

So far this season, 2 of the 42 mosquito batches tested by MCDH were positive for WNV, and there have been no confirmed human cases in McHenry County. The Department will continue collecting and testing mosquito batches until mid-October.  The risk of WNV remains until the first hard frost.  With the recent heavy rains, many residents have been bothered by large numbers of floodwater or nuisance mosquitos.  These mosquitos are not significant carriers of West Nile virus or other diseases in Illinois.  Residents should continue using insect repellent when outdoors, along with light colored long sleeved shirts and pants for extra protection.  For more information on WNV, visit www.mcdh.info (Environmental Health) or call 815-334-4585.

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