Health Points: West Nile Virus and Douglas County
By Lana Sanstrom
West Nile Virus (WNV) has not gone away nor the mosquitoes that carry it. Throughout the early summer months, the Douglas County Health Department submitted dead birds for testing, and all were found to be negative for West Nile Virus. This past week a positive report was received of two crows found in Tuscola. The Illinois Department of Public Health also notified the health department that 5 horses test positive in the Arcola/Arthur area of the county during the month of September. There have been no reports of people contracting West Nile Virus.
You may ask, “What does this mean for me?” Although mosquito season has about passed, it is still a good idea to wear repellant when working in the yard or visiting the woods. Additionally, standing water should be eliminated, and window/door screens that have tears should be repaired or replaced. The weather has cooled and typically mosquitoes are not active in 50° F and colder weather.
The Douglas County Health Department thanks all the county residents reporting dead birds for testing, but dead birds will no longer be submitted in 2018 for testing at the state lab. Please, watch your newspapers in the spring of 2019 when dead birds will once again be accepted for West Nile Virus testing. For further information, please call the health department at 217-253-4137 or check the website at www.dchealthdept.org/environmental-health/.