Cook County Department of Public Health officials announced on Aug. 27, that the season’s first human case of West Nile virus in Cook County was discovered in a woman in her 40s from the southwest suburbs. In addition, the Evanston Health Department reports a WNV-positive bird was collected in Evanston in August.
The Oak Lawn resident became ill earlier this month but did not require hospitalization and is recovering at home.
“We want to remind the residents of Evanston of the importance of prevention during West Nile virus season,” Evanston Health director Evonda Thomas-Smith said. “Every year, the virus circulates throughout Cook County, and while we can’t eliminate certain mosquitoes, we all have the ability to take basic prevention measures to protect against human transmission.”
As of today, there are positive mosquito pools in 61 communities in the state of Illinois and three dead birds have tested positive for the virus in Cook County, including one in Evanston.
The Evanston Health Department reminds residents to:
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, flower pots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.
You may email the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District at 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. Remember, if it can hold water, it can breed mosquitoes.
For additional information, please email the Evanston Health Department at email@example.com or call or text 847-448-4311.