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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has   confirmed the first West Nile virus (WNV) positive mosquito batch reported in   Illinois for 2013. While the City of Evanston has not yet had reported cases   of WNV, the Evanston Health Department reminds residents that exposure to WNV   is still a risk throughout the summer months.

“Despite the lower level of West Nile Virus activity so   far this year as compared to this time last year, we continue to emphasize   mosquito prevention measures to Evanston residents,” said Health Department   Director Evonda Thomas-Smith.

The best way to prevent WNV, or any other mosquito-borne   illness, is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take   personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The Health Department   recommends wearing insect repellent and protective clothing to prevent   mosquito bites when outside and emptying containers with standing water   around properties.

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD)   conducts surveillance, source reduction, larval control and targeted adult   mosquito control operations as needed throughout Evanston. Mosquito abatement   reduces the risk of exposure to WNV, but does not replace the need for   personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Residents can get advance notice of planned adult mosquito   abatement operations via e-mail or text.  Spraying for adult mosquitos   in Evanston is conducted by NSMAD. Typically, member communities get about 48   hours’ notice prior to spraying and operations are conducted in the late   evening to early morning hours as weather permits. To sign up for the   notification system, residents should go to www.cityofevanston.org/subscribe, select subscription type,   enter their email or wireless number and then choose “Mosquito Abatement”   under the “Special Interest” section. Alerts will be sent with the   information provided to the city of Evanston by NSMAD.

Last year, the state of Illinois reported 290 WNV cases   and 12 deaths. As temperatures increase, so do the risks of WNV; higher than   average temperatures and low rainfall likely contributed to the highest   number of WNV cases reported last year since the initial epidemic in 2002.   Animals, such as birds, can be infected as well and dead birds can be a sign   that WNV is being transmitted between birds and mosquitos in the area. To   report a dead bird, residents should call 3-1-1.

For more information on WNV, visit www.cityofevanston.org/health or call the Evanston Health   Department at 847/448-8055.