SPRINGFIELD (WEEK) – On Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health, IDPH, reported the first confirmed human case of the West Nile Virus in the state of Illinois for 2021.
According to a press release, a Cook County resident in his 80s who become ill back in mid-June tested positive for the virus.
“While we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we must also remember to take steps to protect our health from other illnesses… West Nile virus is something we see every year in Illinois and it is important people take steps to prevent mosquito bites and the viruses they carry by wearing insect repellent and getting rid of standing water around their homes.” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike
In 2020, 26 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird, horse, and/or human case. In total, 42 human cases were reported by IDPH, including four deaths.
The IDPH recommends the following precautions for fighting the virus:
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 light-colored, long-sleeved shirt, and apply an EPA-registered 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 larvae.
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