The Lake County Health Department urges residents to “Fight the Bite” to protect against mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus
Lake County, Ill. – Summer is here, and warmer temperatures mean more outdoor fun and more mosquitoes. The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center reminds you to “Fight the Bite” and protect yourself and your family from West Nile virus, an illness spread by mosquitoes.
“Mosquitoes in Illinois are beginning to test positive for West Nile virus,” said Mark Pfister, the Health Department’s Executive Director. “We encourage you to stay active outdoors this summer, but take precautions to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes.”
To help prevent mosquitoes from breeding around your home and business and to protect yourself from bites, follow the “4 Ds of Defense”:
- Drain: Drain standing water from items around your home, yard, and business.
- Defend: Use an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors and reapply according to directions.
- Dawn to Dusk: Protect yourself all day and night, and wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.
- Dress: Wear long sleeves, pants, and closed toe shoes when outdoors to cover your skin.
Since 2002, there have been 58 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Lake County, as well as two confirmed deaths.
The Lake County Health Department’s Mosquito Surveillance Program collects mosquitoes in traps around Lake County and tests them weekly for West Nile virus. The program also monitors reports of dead birds (an early sign of the presence of the virus) and investigates areas of stagnant water for the presence of mosquito larvae, specifically from the Culex mosquito which is the primary carrier of West Nile in Illinois.
Find more prevention tips and information on West Nile virus at www.FightTheBiteNow.com. Residents can also call the Health Department’s West Nile hotline to report areas of stagnant water, report locations of dead birds, and obtain more information on the signs and symptoms of West Nile virus. The West Nile hotline number is (847) 377-8300.