First West Nile positive mosquitoes found in Winnebago County - – Rockford’s News Leader

First West Nile positive mosquitoes found in Winnebago County


The Winnebago County Health Department has reported the first mosquito pool to test positive for West Nile Virus this year.

The pool was located in the Village of Winnebago, in Zip Code 61088. Last year, the first positive pool wasn't found until August 8.

"The finding is not surprising," Environmental Health Director Larry Swacina said. "West Nile Virus has been confirmed to be present in Winnebago County for the 12th year in a row."

The rate Culex mosquito production, flight activity, and virus replication increases with above normal temperatures, raising the risk to humans. To protect yourself from West Nile, the health department recommends the following steps:

  • Reduce exposure: avoid the outdoors when mosquitoes are most active (between dusk and dawn), make sure doors and windows have tight screens, eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed
  • Repel: wear shoes and socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors, wear insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535
  • Report: call 815-720-4245 to report dead birds; after calling you can dispose of it or leave it where it is if it's not picked up within 24 hours of your call. If you pick up the bird yourself, do not have direct contact with the bird.

Many people with West Nile have no clinical symptoms but some may experience a mild fever, headaches, body aches, skin rash, or swollen lymph glands. However, serious symptoms can include meningitis or encephalitis. In severe cases, you should consult a doctor immediately.

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