First West Nile mosquitoes found in Chicago’s north suburbs

Pearl Mccarthy
June 2, 2018

Health officials said Wednesday the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District collected the positive mosquitoes on May 25 in the suburbs of Glenview and Morton Grove. "Although we see West Nile virus in IL every year, don't become complacent". Officials are urging residents to take precautions against the virus as mosquito season - May to November - ramps up in North Texas. Only one out of five infected people develop fever and other symptoms of the disease and only one person out of 150 showing symptoms end up being fatally ill. Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill with symptoms that include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma. Those older than 60 and those with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to the disease.

Jackson suggest, "Use repellant, maybe have long sleeves at the appropriate time of day when the mosquitoes are out biting".

Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.

IDPH Director Nirav Shah said in the press release the health department expected a rise in WNV infection among the human population as summer progresses. Jackson County Health Administrator Sarah Patrick says the discovery is a good reminder to take precautions.

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"As we see higher temperatures, we will start to see more West Nile Virus activity", he said. That year there were 90 reported human cases of the virus. Some infected birds, especially crows and jays, are known to get sick and die from the infection. If these, or other deceased perching birds are seen, local health department officials should be contacted so the birds can be tested for the virus.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex pipiens mosquito, commonly called a house mosquito, that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.

DHS has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people.

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