First West Nile virus related death in Illinois reported in Logan County
September 14, 2013, On Friday, the Logan County Department of Public Health was informed by the Illinois Department of Public Health of a death associated with West Nile Virus (WNV) in Logan County. The individual was male in his 80’s who resided in rural Logan County with a recent travel history out- of-state.
It is important to know that back on July 17, 2013 misquotes trapped in the Mt. Pulaski area test positive for WNV. “Since we know WNV is in the area, this gentleman’s travel history doesn’t influence our communication and preparedness message”, said Mark Hilliard, administrator of the health department.
This is a reminder that even though the area hasn’t had significant rain totals as of late, the mosquitoes that carry WNV breed in stagnant water. The recent hot and dry conditions provide ideal breeding environments in the area. Because of the existing threat, the Logan County Department of Public Health would like to remind everyone the best way to prevent WNV disease is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to use personal protection. The Logan County Department of Public Health would like to urge you to practice the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and report.
• Do reduce your exposure by avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. Repair screens with tears or any other outer openings. Keep windows shut and eliminate areas of standing water around your property where mosquitoes can breed.
• Do repel mosquitoes from biting when outdoors by wearing shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt (light-colored clothing is preferred). Wear repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 and use according to the label instructions.
• Do report dead birds to the Logan County Department of Public Health. If the bird is dead less than 24 hours and has appeared to die of natural causes, it may be eligible for testing. In addition, contact the health department or your local municipality to report any stagnant water in roadside ditches, abandoned pools, flooded areas or similar locations that may provide breeding sites for mosquitoes.
The health department appreciates the assistance the public has provided during the 2013 season to help to monitor WNV activity through the reporting of dead birds and the placing of traps. If you have questions regarding WNV, you can contact the Logan County Department of Public Health at 217-735-2317