West Nile Virus is already showing up in Illinois. Health officials have confirmed that a batch of mosquitoes and a bird have tested positive. The bird was tested in Colona. The mosquitoes were in Godfrey.
The Bond County Health Department has received a grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health for West Nile Virus Mosquito surveillance. Mosquito collection traps will be set out in various areas of Bond County this summer and results will be reported regularly. Traps will be clearly marked and should not be disturbed.
Birds can be infected with West Nile Virus via mosquitoes and the monitoring of dead birds helps with tracking the disease. The Bond County Health Department will collect dead birds for sampling. If you notice a dead bird, you can call the Bond County Health Department at 664-1442. Birds will be collected only if they died very recently, show no signs of decomposition, and there are no obvious injuries to the bird.
West Nile Virus is spread to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. Those infected can potentially develop West Nile Virus Disease. People over 50 years of age or those who are immune-compromised are at highest risk for West Nile Virus Disease. Nearly 120 people were infected with West Nile last year, and eleven of them died. Officials say people should wear insect repellent with DEET when they’re outside, especially during dusk and dawn. They should also get rid of any standing water around their homes.
Normally, mosquito numbers increase during July and August. The risk for West Nile Virus Infection is greatest from August 1 through September 15.
For more information on West Nile Virus, call the Bond County Health Department at 664-1442.