Mosquitoes in Rock Island County test positive for West Nile Virus

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ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, Illinois — The first batch of mosquitoes in Rock Island County positive for West Nile Virus has been reports, confirms the county's health department.

To prevent the spread of the virus, the health department is collecting and testing dead birds, and adding mosquito traps at several locations. The public is encouraged to contact the health department if you spot a sick or dying bird that was not hit by a vehicle, crashed into a building or attacked by other animals. People can report sick and dying birds for possible collection to 309-558-2840.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes and can cause fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches that may last a few days to a few weeks. Four out of five people won't show symptoms at all, says the heath department.

Last year, there were 77 human cases, including nine deaths.

The Illinois Department of Public Health advised people follow these suggestions:

Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report.

  • REDUCE – 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. Eliminate, or refresh each week, all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and any other containers.
  • REPEL – when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions.  Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
  • REPORT – report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.  The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito eggs.
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