"West Nile virus was first identified in Illinois in 2001 and by 2002, Illinois had more than 884 human cases and 67 confirmed deaths ” said Director Evonda Thomas-Smith. “We encourage people to stay active outdoors, but please remember to wear insect repellent and take other precautions to avoid mosquito bites.” People may become infected with West Nile virus by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds and then spread the virus to humans and other animals.
“While the Zika virus is in the news, it is West Nile virus that we need to be concerned about in this area,” said Thomas-Smith. “Fortunately, Aedes aegypti, the primary mosquito that transmits Zika virus, has not been found in this area.”
The best way to prevent any mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn
- When outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts and use insect repellents. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR355, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-methane-diol provide a longer lasting protection. Repellents should be used according to the label instructions. Consult with a physician before using repellents on infants.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings.
- Eliminate sources of standing water by emptying stagnant water in wading pools, bird baths, pet water dishes, old tires, gutters, flower pots, and pool covers on a regular basis.
- Report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded areas and similar locations with stagnant water where mosquitoes will breed by calling 311.
- Report dead birds by calling 311. Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and mosquitoes in the area.
Please contact the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-446-9434 to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. Remember, if it can hold water, it can breed mosquitoes.
For additional information, contact the Evanston Health and Human Services Department via email at email@example.com or call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may call 3-1-1 directly while in Evanston.
After Hours Communication
For after hours communicable disease or bioterrorism emergencies, please call 847-448-4311 and stay on the line to be connected to someone immediately.