IDPH: floodwater mosquitoes don't carry West Nile virus | Health
JACKSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, weeks of rain and flooding in Southern Illinois are the perfect conditions for mosquitoes.
The department said within weeks, floodwater mosquitoes will appear, but they are rarely infected with the West Nile virus. However, as floodwater recedes into ditches, catch basins or other areas where water will sit stagnant, house mosquitos will appear and they are often infected with WNV.
“With the floodwaters and increasing temperatures, we’re going to start seeing increased mosquito activity,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold. “It is important to protect yourself against mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent and taking other precautions.”
Last year 30 of Illinois' 102 counties had a West Nile positive bird, mosquito, horse or human case. There have been no confirmed cases of West Nile virus so far this year, according to IDPH.
To prevent getting West Nile, the IDPH offers these tips:
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
- When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
- Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles. In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.
Public health officials believe a hot summer could increase mosquito activity and the risk of West Nile virus.
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