he City of Evanston’s Health and Human Services Department has received a report of the first human case of West Nile virus in the city this year.
As of September 21, 30 cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Illinois in 2016. A total of 77 cases were reported in Illinois in 2015. The first Evanston mosquito batch that tested positive for West Nile virus this year was collected on June 22.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common West Nile virus symptoms include fever and headache. More severe cases can be associated with a high fever with head and body aches and disorientation, convulsions and tremors, and even paralysis and death. Symptoms can appear 3 to 14 days after infection and may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, many people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. People older than age 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.
“Residents need to be cognizant that West Nile virus prevention does not stop with the adult mosquito operations performed by the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District,” said Evanston Health and Human Services Department Director Evonda Thomas-Smith.
The best way to prevent West Nile virus 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. Precautions include:
Contact the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) via email at email@example.com or call 847-446-9434 to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.
For additional information about West Nile virus, check the Illinois Department of Public Health online at www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/west-nile-virus, contact the Evanston Health and Human Services Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.