DECATUR, IL– The Macon County Health Department received a confirmed report of a mosquito batch in Macon County testing positive for West Nile Virus.
Carol Carlton, Director of Clinical Services at the Macon County Health Department, states that the Macon County Health Department began its seasonal campaign for West Nile Virus in April 2012. The campaign informs residents about prevention and encourages them to get rid of any standing water around their home and to use insect repellent when mosquitoes are out.
The Macon County Health Department also conducts surveillance of West Nile Virus in dead birds, which are fully intact without decomposition or bugs. If you find a dead bird please call the health department at 217-423-6988, ext 1134 to report it. Kathy Wade, Director of Environmental Health at the Macon County Health Department, states, "One dead bird from Macon County has been submitted to the state lab and was found negative for the West Nile Virus." Ms. Wade adds, "The surveillance of birds and mosquitoes provides an early warning.
The Health Department urges residents to use common sense to protect themselves and their family when outside when mosquitoes are biting. Most people who are bit by a mosquito carrying West Nile Virus may have very mild symptoms; however, in some people over the age of 50 and those with chronic health conditions, the illness can be more severe." She reminds the public that personal protection is the first line of defense against West Nile Virus or other mosquito illnesses.
The following tips can help to reduce your risk of being bitten by a mosquito:
„h STAY indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening when mosquitoes are most active. If you go outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long-sleeved shirt, and long pants. Loose-fitting, light colored clothing is best.
„h USE insect repellent containing 25-35% DEET when outdoors, applied sparingly to exposed skin or clothing, as indicated on the repellent label. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents used on children contain no more that 10% DEET, the active ingredient in mosquito repellents. Consult your physician before using repellents on young children or infants.
„h MAKE sure window and door screens are "bug tight."