According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the state had recently its first West Nile death for the year. So far, 24 cases of the virus have been reported in Illinois this year.
According to IDPH, West Nile Virus, which is transmitted via mosquito bite, remains a risk until the first hard frost of the year. While four out of five people infected with West Nile will show no symptoms, the risks are higher for individuals over 50 and those who are immunocompromised.
Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report.
REDUCE – eliminate or refresh each week, all sources of standing water. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings.
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.
REPORT – 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 larvae.