This press release was issued Friday afternoon by the Will County Health Department:
The positive samples were all collected July 24, and positive WNV test results were confirmed the next day. Monitoring sites operated by Will County Environmental Health have now generated six WNV positives this summer. A blue jay collected in Wilmington and a robin taken from Plainfield have also tested WNV-positive.
Will is one of at least 26 Illinois counties to report WNV activity this summer, with the majority of confirmations emanating from Chicagoland. Through July 24, 315 of the state’s 375 WNV-positive mosquito samples (84 percent), and nine of 21 WNV-positive birds from Illinois were collected from Cook or DuPage counties. Both of the state’s human WNV cases identified so far (both females), reside in suburban Cook County.
The abnormally hot and dry weather experienced this summer has created ideal conditions for the Culex pipiens mosquitoes most often implicated in human WNV transmission. The Health Department strongly urges area residents to take personal precautions designed to prevent mosquito bites.
Persons spending long periods outdoors are advised to use insect repellents containing DEET, or other chemical compounds that deter mosquitoes. Culex mosquitoes are most active near dawn and during the early evening.
The Health Department is accelerating mosquito monitoring in order to keep pace with what appears to be a burgeoning WNV potential. All monitoring sites are currently harvested twice weekly, but selected sites will now be visited three times a week. Additional monitoring sites may also be added. Fifteen monitoring sites are currently active, including two in Joliet and two in Bolingbrook. All four of the Joliet and Bolingbrook sites have yielded one WNV-positive mosquito sample so far.
Read this Patch article for more information about why this summer has created ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, and what you can do to protect yourself and reduce the number of mosquitoes.