As temperatures rise, so does the threat of the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus. Last year, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 32 human cases, 18 of which were in Cook County, and four deaths.
Take precautions…Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by wearing long sleeves and pants, limiting time spent outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active and using insect repellant that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol. Residents also are urged to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites by cleaning roof gutters, storing containers upside down, emptying birdbaths every few days and any other precautions to avoid standing water on their property. For more information, call 708.358.5694, visit www.oak-park.us./fightthebite or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report dead birds...If you see a dead bird call the West Nile Virus Hotline at 708.358.5694 or email email@example.com. Depending on the bird’s condition and species, a Health Department staff member may pick up the carcass for testing.
Prevention efforts...The Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District treats all street catch basins with larvicide every seven to 10 days during the mosquito-breeding season. The abatement district also will treat catch basins on private property by request and pick up old vehicle tires. Call 708.447.1765 or visit www.desplainesvalleymad.com for more information.
Spraying notification...Residents who wish to be notified when the Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District has scheduled spraying for adult mosquitoes can sign up at www.oak-park.us/notifyme. Registrants will be notified by an automated telephone system, email or text message as soon as possible following a decision to spray in Oak Park. Individuals without computer access may call 708.358.5694 to leave their phone number for telephone notification only. Spraying is only conducted in response to elevated levels of West Nile Virus in an area. Visit www.desplainesvalleymad.com for information about spraying.