Positive Mosquito Samples Reported by DeKalb County Health DepartmentOctober 1, 2021
The DeKalb County Health Department is reporting that mosquitoes collected in a trap in Sandwich have tested positive for the first time this year, while the Genoa trap continues to test positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) which is associated with an increased risk of WNV in people.
42 counties have reported WNV positive mosquito samples this year, 24 (16%) of birds have been positive and there have been 33 human cases and 1 death in the State of IL. There have been no human cases in DeKalb County this year.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected after feeding on an infected bird. It is important to remember that not all mosquitoes, or birds, carry West Nile virus – most do not. Culex mosquitoes thrive on the hot/dry weather that has been occurring lately and are typically active between dusk and dawn. Even with cooler weather forecast, these mosquitoes will be active until a hard frost so remain vigilant.
“The most effective way to prevent you or your family from being infected is to reduce the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes” says Greg Maurice, Director of Health Protection. “This includes eliminating standing water from around your house and using mosquito repellent when outside.” Maurice offers these tips:
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
- When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
- Change water in birdbaths weekly. Properly maintain wading pools and stock ornamental ponds with fish. Turn over any buckets, garbage cans, or other containers that collect water.
For additional information, check the DeKalb County Health Department website at https://health.dekalbcounty.org/services/nuisance-complaints/ To learn more about the many programs and services of the Health Department, visit https://health.dekalbcounty.org/ or follow us on social media.