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West Nile Virus-Infected Mosquitoes on the Increase

August 9, 2018 09:01 AM

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) has announced that the risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) is currently at the highest level since the 2012 outbreak, when 290 Illinoisans, (174 in Cook County), became ill.

The WNV infection rate in mosquitoes collected in District traps during the past week has increased significantly.  The NSMAD recommends taking precautions such as wearing loose fitting clothing, and avoiding being outdoors at peak mosquito feeding times during the hours around dawn and dusk.  Homeowners are urged to examine their property and eliminate any items that can hold water, particularly smaller items that may be easily overlooked. If it can hold water, it can breed mosquitoes.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected Culex pipiens mosquito. Most people infected with the virus show no symptoms. Mild cases may cause a slight fever or headache. More severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of a high fever with head and body aches, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and, in the most severe cases, paralysis or death. Symptoms typically occur within three to 14 days after the bite from an infected mosquito. Persons 50 years of age or older are at the highest risk for serious illness.

In response to the increase in WNV activity, the NSMAD is increasing adult mosquito control operations throughout the District to augment continued larval mosquito control.  Please visit for more information.


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