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Public Health Updates

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First Bird to test Positive for West Nile Virus in Vermilion County

Advisory

Click on the following Link for the West Nile Virus Press Release

PR – West Nile_ PosBIrd_ 2017

Protect Yourself

WIC Clinics available in Hoopeston

Update

HOOPESTON – The Vermilion County Health Department’s Women, Infants and Children program will hold twice-a-month walk-in clinics at the Hoopeston Multi-Agency Service Center at 206 South 1st Avenue starting on Sept. 12.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children – shortened to WIC – is a federal nutrition program that provides nutritious supplemental foods, health care referrals, breastfeeding support, and nutrition education.  The program is available to eligible pregnant and postpartum women, in addition to infants and children up to the age of five.

The Vermilion County Health Department’s WIC program has been in the community for 40 years, providing these valuable services.

Mothers who participate in the WIC program are more likely to initiate breastfeeding, and to breastfeed longer.  The WIC program can provide iron-fortified formula for infants of mothers who choose to not breastfeed.

The program started an enhanced food package a few years ago, emphasizing fruits, vegetables and grains.  These foods are purchased with vouchers that can be redeemed at grocery stores.  WIC also participates in the farmers’ market program, which provides additional locally grown fruits and vegetables during the summer.

“This has proven to show positive changes in children’s diet, and reductions in childhood obesity,” said Cheryl Sprague, the WIC Program supervisor.

The clinic at the Hoopeston Multi-Agency Service Center will be open on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., with a 30-minute break at noon.  No appointments are necessary.

The satellite WIC clinic is part of the Multi-Agency Center’s mission to provide helpful services to northern Vermilion County residents.

“The Multi-Agency Service Center is happy to host the Vermilion County Health Department for this important service to women, infants and children.  Supporting and educating new mothers in this way will certainly impact the development of their children,” said Dana Schaumburg, the Executive Director of the Hoopeston Multi-Agency Service Center.

The health department has not offered WIC services outside of the main office at 200 South College Street in Danville for years, and the staff members are excited to set up satellite clinics again.

“Dana and the Hoopeston Multi-Agency Service Center board members have been very gracious hosts, and it will be a great location for us,” said Douglas Toole, Public Health Administrator.  “This should ease some of the transportation and scheduling problems that face our clients who live in northern Vermilion County, and we hope that it will bring in additional clients, as well.”

Even working families can be eligible for WIC services.  A family of four with a gross annual income of up to $45,510 would meet the income guidelines to receive services.

“About half of the babies born in Vermilion County are born to WIC-eligible moms,” Sprague said.  “There are many in the community who are not on WIC who we know would be eligible for it.”

The WIC program is open at the health department from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the week, except for Thursdays when the program is open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. to better accommodate those with work, school or transportation issues.

WIC services will continue to be offered on Tuesdays at the health department, even on satellite clinic days.

In most cases, clients make appointments to receive WIC services at the health department, but the program now offers “Walk-In Wednesdays,” a day when clients without appointments can come in and receive services.

The health department started operating a twice-a-month, satellite WIC clinic at the Housing Authority of the City of Danville earlier this year to very positive results.  Health department officials hope to offer satellite clinics in the south portion of the county, as well, in the future.

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First Mosquito to test Positive for West Nile Virus in Vermilion County

Advisory

Click on the following Link for the West Nile Virus Press Release

PR – West Nile 2017

Protect Yourself

National Immunization Awareness Month 2017 Press Release

 

General Health Information

PRESS RELEASE

 For Immediate Publication

 For more information, please call Douglas Toole at the Health Department at 431-2662, ext. 243

 DANVILLE — There are many things we want to pass on to our loved ones, but illness is not one of them.  August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a time to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

 Vaccinating our children is commonplace in the United States.  But few adults know they need vaccines other than flu vaccine and even fewer are fully vaccinated.

 Each year, tens of thousands of adults needlessly suffer, are hospitalized, and even die as a result of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines, such as pertussis, hepatitis, shingles and pneumococcal disease.

 Not only can vaccine-preventable diseases make a person very sick, but once a person becomes sick, he or she may risk spreading the disease to others.  Infants, older adults and people with weakened immune systems – such as those undergoing cancer treatment — are especially vulnerable to infectious diseases, and are also more likely to have severe illness and complications if they do get sick.

 “It is important for people to protect their health, and the health of their loved ones, by getting their recommended vaccines,” said Julie Fruhling, the Community Health Educator of the Vermilion County Health Department.

 The good news is that getting vaccinated is fairly simple. Adults can get vaccines at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, workplaces, health clinics and health departments.  Most health insurance plans cover the cost of recommended vaccines, and people can get the details of their plans by contacting their insurance providers.

 Susan Fauver, the Nurse Coordinator of the Vermilion County Health Department’s Immunization and Communicable Disease Division, recommends that all adults should get an annual flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu, and a Tdap to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, with a booster shot every ten years.

 Fauver also recommended, depending on age, occupation, health condition, and other factors, getting vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Meningococcal, Pneumococcal, and Shingles.

 As part of National Immunization Awareness Month, the health department is offering immunization clinics from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 3, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 9, from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 and from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 at 200 South College Street in Danville.

 The health department’s full 2017 immunization schedule can be found at the health department’s website, www.vchd.org.

 Immunizations are done by appointment only.  Appointments can be made by calling (217) 431-2662, ext, 249.  People must bring their current shot records to the appointment.  The health department can bill most insurance providers for immunizations, and accepts public aid cards, cash, checks, and credit cards for payment.

 The health department also offers the vaccinations that are required for many students.  Parents or legal guardians can make appointments by calling (217) 431-2662, ext. 249.

 If a person is travelling overseas, there may be additional vaccines needed, depending on the location.  Some travel-related vaccines are part of a series or are needed months prior to travel to be most effective, so planning ahead is advised.  Find out at www.cdc.gov/travel.

 The health department hopes to receive its flu vaccine in late August, and will set the dates for its walk-in flu vaccination clinics after the vaccine arrives.  Please check the health department’s website, www.vchd.org, for updates.

 “We all need immunizations to help protect us and our community from serious diseases,” said Fauver.  “National Immunization Awareness Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness of this important issue.”    ###

Water Samples Negative for Legionnaires' Disease

Update

Water sample results of a swimming pool, spa and guest room at a Danville-area hotel all came back negative for Legionella bacteria.  The Illinois Department of Public Health contacted the owners of the hotel, and cleared them to re-open all of the pool facilities.

“I am relieved that the lab results came back negative for Legionnaires’ disease,” said Public Health Administrator Douglas Toole.   “I appreciate all the cooperation we received from the hotel management and owner.  It appears to be a coincidence that three people diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease over an 11-month period all happened to stay at the same hotel.”

 According to the Illinois Department of Public Health:

  • Legionella bacteria occur naturally in the environment.  Approximately 300 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported each year in Illinois.  Nationally, there are anywhere from 8,000 to 18,000 cases each year.  Most cases are not associated with an outbreak and are considered isolated cases. With single cases, it is not usually possible to pinpoint only one specific water aerosol-producing exposure for that person. 
  • Legionella bacteria grow in areas of warm water.  Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth, such as whirlpools, hot water tanks, cooling towers, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems.
  • In order to be infected with the bacteria, a person must inhale contaminated water vapor.  There is no evidence that Legionnaires’ disease is transmitted person-to-person.
  • Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria and symptoms can include fever, muscle aches, cough, and pneumonia. Other symptoms may include headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion, or diarrhea.   Symptoms may develop between 2 to 14 days after an exposure.
  • People experiencing symptoms consistent with pneumonia should seek immediate medical attention.
  • There are many viruses and bacteria that can cause respiratory symptoms.  Testing is needed to confirm a diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease.  Testing can take up to 72 hours for results, and often additional testing is required to confirm a diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease.
  • Antibiotics are used to treat Legionnaires’ disease.  People with Legionnaires’ disease often need to be hospitalized for treatment.
  • Adults older than 50 with respiratory complications such as chronic lung diseases, people with weakened immune systems, people who take immune weakening medications (immunosuppressive medications), and smokers are at higher risk of Legionnaires’ disease.
  • When multiple Legionnaires’ disease cases report exposure to the same whirlpool/hot tub, an investigation is initiated by public health. Out of an abundance of caution, any exposure to a whirlpool/hot tub reported by multiple cases is shut down until an investigation is completed to reduce any possible risk to additional persons.

 

2016 Electronics Recycling Event a Huge Success

Update

The electronics collection event on October 8 was a huge success!  About 480 vehicles came through the line, andElectronics Recycling 2016 dropped off 967 TVs, 351 computer monitors, and enough other items to fill five semi trailers and two box trucks.

We hope to offer a similar collection event next year, as well.

We would like to thank Danville Area Community College for being such a great host and a terrific partner.  We would also like to thank the health department staff and 101_0745Keep Vermilion County Beautiful volunteers who helped with planning, with data collection and with traffic control, and to the City of Danville Public Works Department for hosting its collection event for city residents on October 1.  TElectronics Recycling Event 2016hings ran smoothly on Saturday because of your efforts.

And thank you to everyone who came out and participated in the event.  Together, we accomplished something big !

 

Possible link to Legionnaire's Disease to a Vermilion County Hotel.

Advisory

Three persons developed Legionnaires’ disease after visiting a Vermilion County hotel between October 2015 and September 2016.

 According to the Illinois Department of Public Health:

 

  • Legionella bacteria occur naturally in the environment.  Approximately 300 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported each year in Illinois.  Nationally, there are anywhere from 8,000 to 18,000 cases each year.  Most cases are not associated with an outbreak and are considered isolated cases. With single cases, it is not usually possible to pinpoint only one specific water aerosol-producing exposure for that person.
  • Legionella bacteria grow in areas of warm water.  Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth, such as whirlpools, hot water tanks, cooling towers, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems.
  • In order to be infected with the bacteria, a person must inhale contaminated water vapor.  There is no evidence that Legionnaires’ disease is transmitted person-to-person.
  • Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria and symptoms can include fever, muscle aches, cough, and pneumonia. Other symptoms may include headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion, or diarrhea.   Symptoms may develop between 2 to 14 days after an exposure.
  • People experiencing symptoms consistent with pneumonia should seek immediate medical attention
  • There are many viruses and bacteria that can cause respiratory symptoms.  Testing is needed to confirm a diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease.  Testing can take up to 72 hours for results, and often additional testing is required to confirm a diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease.
  • Antibiotics are used to treat Legionnaires’ disease.  People with Legionnaires’ disease often need to be hospitalized for treatment.
  • Adults older than 50 with respiratory complications such as chronic lung diseases, people with weakened immune systems, people who take immune weakening medications (immunosuppressive medications), and smokers are at higher risk of Legionnaires’ disease.
  • When multiple Legionnaires’ disease cases report exposure to the same whirlpool/hot tub, an investigation is initiated by public health. Out of an abundance of caution, any exposure to a whirlpool/hot tub reported by multiple cases is shut down until an investigation is completed to reduce any possible risk to additional persons.
Free TV and Electronics Collection Event Scheduled

Update

Electronics collection events being held on Oct. 1 and Oct. 8accepted-items-list-2016

DANVILLE – The City of Danville and the Vermilion County Health Department will host free electronics-collection events in October.

The City of Danville Solid Waste Division will hold a collection from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Danville Public Works Building at 1155 East Voorhees Street for customers of the City Solid Waste Collection Program .

The Vermilion County Health Department will hold a collection from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 in the north parking lot of Danville Area Community College, 2000 East Main Street in Danville for all county residents.

tv-and-electronics-collection-2016

Residents are encouraged to bring their broken, obsolete or unwanted televisions, monitors and other electronic items to the collection events so they can be recycled.  Vintage Tech of Plainfield, Illinois will process the items from both events.

The Oct. 1 City of Danville event is sponsored by the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund and is therefore only open to customers with an active account in the weekly waste collection Program.  Customers will be required to submit their September bill stub to participate.  Customers with direct-debit will be mailed a postcard to submit.  Each City customer is limited to six items per account.  Visit the website at www.cityofdanville.org, or call (217) 431-2288 for more information.

“Even old and broken electronic items have components that can be recycled and reused, and other components that can be toxic,” said Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer. “These products can no longer be taken to landfills in Illinois, so managing them properly is the right thing to do.”

The Oct. 8 Vermilion County event is jointly sponsored by Danville Area Community College, the Vermilion County Health Department, and Keep Vermilion County Beautiful, and is open to any County resident, including City of Danville residents.  Proof of residency of those taking part in the collection will be checked.  Vermilion County residents will be limited to a maximum combination of four televisions or computer monitors at the collection.

“We are happy to work with residents to properly recycle these types of electronics in an environmentally safe and responsible manner,” said Public Health Administrator Douglas Toole.  “By doing so, many materials will be reused in the manufacturing of new products and potentially harmful chemicals will be diverted from landfills.”  Toole can be reached at (217) 431-2662, ext. 243 for more information about the County event.

Bruce Rape, the Dean of Business and Technology at DACC, said that the college was looking to host a special electronics-collection event, and that college officials were eager to be involved.

“Encouraging environmental sustainability is a goal of the college, and we are happy to be part of the Oct. 8 event,” said Rape.

Keep Vermilion County Beautiful is also involved in the planning of the events, and will have representatives at the collection events accepting donations for future recycling and beautification events.

“These events are great opportunities to remove unwanted electronic items from storage and to have them processed or recycled,” said Brenda Adams, the Executive Director of KVCB.

Items accepted include CRT or flat screen televisions, CRT or flat screen monitors, cable boxes, satellite dishes, cell phones, computers, computer peripherals (keyboards and mice), printers, copiers, DVD players, fax machines, gaming consoles, laptops, PDAs, scanners, VCRs, wires, cameras, clocks, radios, vacuum cleaners and fans.

The collection will not accept bare CRT tubes, light bulbs, medical equipment, air conditioners, microwave ovens, or smoke detectors.

A full list of items that will and will not be accepted can be viewed on the health department’s website, www.vchd.org, and on the City of Danville’s website, www.cityofdanville.org.

It is now illegal in Illinois for electronic products such as televisions, computers, monitors, DVD players, fax machines and MP3 players to be disposed of in landfills.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, recyclers now recover more than 100 million pounds of materials from electronics each year, some of which can be converted into raw material for new products.

Some electronics can contain toxic materials such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and beryllium that must be properly managed to prevent soil and groundwater contamination. But obsolete electronic products can also contain valuable materials that can be recycled for reuse such as copper, gold and circuit chips.  ###

 

 

Medication Disposal Event Set

Update

Drug Enforc2016 Medication Pickupement Agency Taking Back Unwanted Medications April 30 at Vermilion County Courthouse

DANVILLE – On April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its eleventh opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your pills or patches for disposal to the Vermilion County Courthouse at 7 North Vermilion Street in Danville.  (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (more than 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds—more than 2,750 tons—of pills.

 

TV Recycling

Update

We have recently been told that Best Buy is no longer accepting unwanted TVs and computtelevision-899265_1280er monitors for recycling at its Illinois stores.  It is our understanding that Best Buy will continue to take TVs for free from customers who purchase a TV from Best Buy with home delivery service.

While Best Buy has been a leader in electronics recycling, taking in more materials through their retail outlets than its Illinois goal as a manufacturer required, the stores have changed their policy as of January 31, 2016.   This means there are no options for many area residents to recycle a TV.

The Vermilion County Health Department, Keep Vermilion County Beautiful and other environmental organizations will continue to gather information on this issue and all the issues surrounding residential electronics recycling.  We intend to push for legislative changes again this year to address these issues.

IEMA Highlights Holiday Safety in December

General Health Information

Tips offered for preparedness gifts, holiday decorating!christmas-xmas-christmas-tree-decoration

IEMA Holiday Safety

12/2/15: Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc. Recalls Celery Products Because of Possible Health Risk
Dead Crow Tests Positive for West Nile Virus in Vermilion County

Advisory

For Immediate Release

September 14, 2015

Contact: Douglas Toole, 431-2662, ext. 243

A dead crow found in Danville has tested positive for West Nile Virus by the Illinois Department of Public Health laboratory.

The bird was collected by Vermilion County Health Department personnel on Sept. 1, and sent to the state laboratory for analysis.

The crow is among three dozen birds confirmed to be positive for West Nile Virus in Illinois so far in 2015.  West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitos, birds or mammals in 53 Illinois counties so far this year.  There have been 10 human cases of West Nile Virus in Illinois in 2015, and the disease has been linked to three human deaths.

“Even though summer is over and temperatures are dropping, we still urge residents to take precautions when they are outside and make sure their homes are free of places where mosquitoes breed,” said Public Health Administrator Jenny Trimmell.

Those who are outdoors for long periods of time or when mosquitoes are most active — typically between dusk and dawn — should wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and should consider using mosquito repellant with at least 10 percent DEET in it.  Additionally, residents should remove or drain the water from  tires, unused swimming pools or birdbaths in their yards so that they do not become mosquito-breeding sites.

The Vermilion County Health Department is still accepting a limited number of certain types of dead birds — including crows, blue jays, grackles, starlings, sparrows, finches, robins, cardinals, flycatchers, swallows, catbirds, mockingbirds, mourning dove, pigeon, hawks, owls, warblers and wrens – for testing until the end of October.

Not all birds will be accepted for testing, Trimmell said.  Larger birds such as water fowl or vultures will not be tested for West Nile Virus.  The birds must be dead, but must be freshly dead and intact.  Dead birds which have been attacked or partially eaten by animals, or which are missing their eyes, or which are decomposing, cannot be tested.

A mosquito infected with West Nile virus can spread the disease by biting humans. The virus was first noted in Illinois in the summer of 2001. By 2002, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported over 800 human cases of West Nile in Illinois.  No human cases of West Nile virus in Vermilion County were reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health last year, but there were three human cases of West Nile Virus in Vermilion County in 2013.

Over the past ten years, three dozen birds have been collected by the Vermilion County Health Department and tested by a state lab.  Of those three dozen birds, only seven have tested positive for West Nile Virus — one crow this year, and three crows and three blue jays collected in 2006 and 2007.

The state health department says that most people are not affected when bitten by a West Nile-infected mosquito, but some people, including those who are over the age of 50 and who may have chronic health problems are most at risk from the West Nile virus.

To report a dead bird in Vermilion County for possible testing, call the health department at 431-2662, ext. 247.  Additional information is available on the health department’s website at www.vchd.org.

 

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Safe Medication Disposal Event - September 26, 2015

Safe Medication Disposal 092015Update

Drug Enforcement Administration Taking Back Unwanted Medications Sept. 26 at Vermilion County Courthouse

 

DANVILLE – On September 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its tenth opportunity in five years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

 

Bring your pills or patches for disposal to the Vermilion County Courthouse at 7 North Vermilion Street in Danville.  (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of drugs were collected by the DEA and more than 4,400 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

 

Additional information is available on the health department’s website at www.vchd.org, or by calling the health department at 431-2662, ext. 243.Spanish Safe Medication Disposal 092015

2015 Illinois Immunization Requirement for Meningococcal Vaccine
July 6, 2015: Heat Safety Month

Health Information

 

Heat Safety Month Articlefield-summer-sun-meadow

June 9, 2015: Surveillance for Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Pathogens
Health Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lyme Disease and other Tick-borne Pathogens PDFDeer_Ticks_3_species

June 3, 2015: Vermilion County Health Department Asking for Assistance with Collection of Dead Birds for West Nile
May, 2015: Taking Precautions Against West Nile Virus

Health Advisory 

The Illinois Department of Public Health Urges Illinoisans to Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus

Illinois Department of Public Health offers tips for avoiding mosquito bites

West Nile Press Release PDF version 05/2015

SPRINGFIELD – As we start to see warmer weather, we will start to see mosquitoes, and that means West Nile virus.  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) began accepting birds for West Nile virus testing on May 1, 2015.  Local health departments will also collect birds and mosquito samples for West Nile virus testing in order to track the virus across Illinois.

“Since we started seeing human West Nile virus cases in Illinois back in 2002, 2,137 people have been infected, including 133 West Nile virus-related deaths,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., JD.  “While we have seen West Nile virus in Illinois over the past 13 years, it’s important that we don’t become complacent and that we continue to protect ourselves from mosquito bites.”

Predicting West Nile virus activity is like predicting the weather, it can change week to week.  The key factors in determining high or low levels of West Nile virus activity are temperature and rainfall.  Although people usually notice mosquitoes during rainy conditions, those mosquitoes are commonly called floodwater or nuisance mosquitoes and typically do not carry West Nile virus.  In hot, dry weather, mosquitoes that do carry West Nile virus breed in stagnant water, like street catch basins and ditches, and multiply rapidly.

As temperatures warm up, remember to take some simple precautions to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and protect yourself from being bitten.  Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and report.

  • REDUCE exposure – minimize being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.  If you go outside during these times, take precautions.   Even if mosquito numbers seem low, it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to transmit the virus.
  • 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.
  • Eliminate, or refresh every couple days, all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and any other receptacles.
  • 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 dead birds to your local health department.  In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government about areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found by logging onto www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/west-nile-virus.