The Will County Health Department Environmental Division reports that a fifth mosquito sample this season has now tested positive for West Nile Virus activity. This sample was taken from a trap located in the Manhattan area. The other positive-WNV samples were taken from traps located in Lockport, Plainfield, Joliet near the Sunny Hill Nursing Home, and an earlier one from the Manhattan trap.
Will County residents are reminded that West Nile Virus is passed from infected birds to humans through the bite of a Culex mosquito. During the peak mosquito hours of dusk to dawn, the wearing of long sleeves, long pants, and shoes and socks is recommended. Insect repellent containing DEET is recommended as well. Light colored clothes are best, as mosquitos are attracted to dark habitats.
The WCHD (Will County Health Department) Environmental Health Division has 14 traps in various locations for the purpose of tracking possible West Nile Virus activity among culex mosquitos.
In addition, remember to remove standing water from your property, such as in gutters, birdbaths, kiddie pools, and other areas that hold water and may be tempting for mosquitos to lay eggs.
The WCHD Environmental Health Division also collects birds to send to a state lab to test for WNV activity, and the public is asked for their help. If you have an intact, recently deceased bird on your property, you are asked to call the WCHD West Nile Surveillance Hotline at 815-740-7631.
West Nile Virus has symptoms very similar to the flu (such as fever, headache, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes). Anyone can catch WNV, but those most at risk for it are seniors, young children, and those with a weakened immunization system.
For more information on West Nile Virus, visit this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html.