The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed the first West Nile virus positive mosquito batch in Illinois for 2015. St. Clair County Health Department employees collected a positive mosquito batch on May 26, 2015, in O’Fallon.
Surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests on mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as testing sick horses and humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.
As temperatures continue to warm up, remember to protect yourself by practicing the “three R’s”: REDUCE your exposure by limiting outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active, REPEL mosquitoes when outdoors by wearing protective clothing and insect repellent containing DEET, and REPORT sick, dying, or dead birds to your local health department.