Bird Positive for West Nile Virus
Local public health officials received verification of laboratory tests today on a bird collected in Iroquois County. According to Doug Corbett, Public Health Administrator, a crow was found in Gilman on July 16th and submitted to the health department for testing. Corbett stated that laboratory tests received today confirmed that the bird was positive for the West Nile virus.
Corbett said the season for West Nile virus will not be over until the weather is much cooler and mosquito larvae are not capable of development. He said if we have rain in the next few weeks and the temperatures stay elevated, we still have the potential for further mosquito crop development.
The health department, again, offers the following advice to residents to protect themselves against the West Nile virus:
• Get rid of any water-holding containers such as tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles and old tires.
• Fill in low places where water can stand in your yard.
• Keep gutters free of leaves and debris
• Keep drains, ditches, and culverts free of weeds and trash so water will drain properly.
• Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater.
• Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.
• Empty children’s wading pools at least once per week and store indoors when not in use.
• Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water.
• Change the water in bird baths and plant pots or drip trays at least once per week.
• Store boats covered or upside down, or remove rainwater weekly.
• Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes will not hide there.
Mr. Corbett also indicated that these tips were provided from the Illinois Department of Public Health to help consumers protect themselves from mosquito bites:
• When possible, avoid places and times when mosquitoes bite.
• Wear light-colored protective clothing. Tightly woven materials that cover arms and legs provide some protection from mosquito bites. Keep trouser legs tucked into boots or socks, and collars buttoned.
• Have good screening. Make sure door and window screens fit tightly and all holes are repaired.
• Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure, and protect small babies any time.
• Small impoundments of water can be treated for mosquito larvae with “Bti”, a bacterial insecticide.
• For additional protection from mosquitoes use an insect repellent. Do not allow children to apply repellent themselves. Do not use repellents on infants.
• Spraying your backyard with an insecticidal fog or mist is effective only for a short time.
• Insect light electrocutors (“bug zappers”) or sound devices do little to reduce biting mosquitoes in an area.
• Installing bird or bat houses to attract these insect-eating animals has been suggested as a method of mosquito control. However, there is little scientific evidence that this significantly reduces the mosquito population around homes.
Those interested in more information regarding West Nile Virus may contact the local health department or visit the Illinois Department of Public Health’s web site at www.idph.state.il.us
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