West Nile Virus in Macon County

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The Macon County Health Department has received a confirmed report of 23 additional mosquito batches in Macon County that have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Macon Mosquito Abatement District tested the mosquitos from their weekly surveillance traps and positive results were confirmed by Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois. Officials say the Macon County Health Department began its seasonal campaign for the West Nile Virus in May 2013. The campaign informs residents about prevention and encourages them to remove any standing water around their home and to use insect repellent when mosquitos are out. When it comes to mosquitos, a major myth exists. Many believe that if mosquitos aren't visible, then there's no risk. However, officials say the mosquitos that carry the West Nile Virus, known as the house mosquito, are not as noticeable as the swarms of floodwater mosquitos we typically see during rainy summers. Currently, no human cases exist in Macon County.

One thing you can do to help protect yourself from mosquito bites is reduce exposure. Officials suggest to try to avoid the outdoors during peak mosquito hours, which is from dawn until dusk. If you need to be outside, the next step is to repell. Wear tennis shoes, long pants, long sleeves, and insect repellent. Finally, check your property for standing water. Standing water can be found in plant pots, gutters, pools, tires, and buckets. Dispose the water, as they are major breeding grounds for mosquitos. It's already almost August, and summer is starting to wind down, so enjoy the outdoors and be safe!

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