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The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) has found the first West Nile virus positive mosquitoes to occur in Evanston this year.
A pool of mosquitoes collected in Evanston on June 30 initially tested negative in the NSMAD lab on July 3. The sample was sent to the Illinois Natural History Survey for additional testing, which indicated the sample had tested positive for West Nile virus on July 10. Current test results are available at www.nsmad.com/mosquito-control/1758/.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has been infected with the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around the home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include avoiding being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn; wearing shoes, socks, long pants, long-sleeved shirts and insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535; making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens; keeping doors and windows shut, especially at night, and eliminating all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in bird baths, ponds, flower pots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles. Residents are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-446-9434 to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. Whatever can hold water can breed mosquitoes.