The Winnebago County Health Department is reporting the first mosquito pool testing positive for West Nile Virus for 2016.
It was found in the 61115 area, which is in Machesney Park.
Environmental Health Supervisor for the WCHD, Ryan Kerch, says the department is not surprised at the recent finding. The virus has been present in Winnebago Count for the last 15 years.
Recent hot and dry weather has increased the rate of Culex mosquito production, mosquito flight activity, and virus replications.
Human can contract the virus through the bite of an infected mosquito, although some people register slight or no reaction to being bit.
Winnebago County Health Department recommends practicing the three “R’s to reduce the risk of human cases of WNV:
· REDUCE exposure - avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
o 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.
o Eliminate 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 through the hotline at 815.720.4245 or the website at www.wchd.org.