As temperatures increase so does the threat of the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus. Illinois reported 290 human cases and 12 deaths last year, the highest since the first outbreak in 2002 and the fourth highest in the nation, according to public health officials. Illinoisans contracting the virus ranged from nine to 89 years old, with more than three-quarters of the cases among those 45 years old and older.
Take precautions…Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by wearing long sleeves and pants, limiting time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active and wearing insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Residents also are urged to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites by cleaning roof gutters, storing containers upside down and emptying birdbaths every few days. For more information, call the West Nile Virus Hotline 708.358.5694, visit www.oak-park.us or e-mail email@example.com.
Report dead birds…If you see a dead bird call the West Nile Virus Hotline 708.358.5694. Depending on the bird’s condition and species, a Health Department staff member will pick up the carcass for testing.
Prevention efforts…The Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District will treat 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. Registrants will be notified by an automated telephone system, e-mail 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. Visit www.desplainesvalleymad.com for information on spraying.