Ogle County – The Ogle County Health Department has confirmed two more mosquito pools positive for West Nile virus in Ogle County for 2019.
A pool of mosquitoes found near Rochelle and another separate mosquito pool collected in Monroe Center tested positive for West Nile virus on July 16. There was also a previously confirmed positive mosquito pool near Polo earlier this year.
With three separate mosquito pools from three different locations throughout the county being confirmed as positive, it is imperative to be alert and take protective measures against West Nile virus.
The Ogle County Health Department will continue surveillance and testing mosquito pools from across Ogle County, as well as conducting mosquito abatement and working with local municipalities on mosquito abatement methods such as larviciding to help control mosquito populations across Ogle County.
Monitoring for West Nile virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests for mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as testing humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms. People who observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact their local health department, which will determine if the bird will be picked up for testing.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex mosquitoes, commonly called a house mosquito, which has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.
Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.
Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report.
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.
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 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 eggs.
To learn more about West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases and prevention methods you can consult the Illinois Department of Public Health website or contact the IDPH WNV hotline at 866-369-9710, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.