The McLean County Health Department on Tuesday cautioned residents to avoid mosquito bites after the first positive test for West Nile virus.
A mosquito pool collected June 8 from the 61705 ZIP code tested positive for West Nile, the first positive test for 2018, the McLean County Health Department reported. Health department staff are going door-to-door leaving prevention information at residences in the surrounding area.
The best way to avoid West Nile virus, public health officials say, is to avoid mosquito bites. Here are some tips they shared Tuesday:
- Keep your skin covered with long pants and long-sleeved shirts, along with socks and shoes, when outside at dawn and dusk (when Culex mosquitoes are most active)
- Make sure windows and doors have screens to stop mosquitoes from entering and repair or replace screens with rips or holes
- Empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items around the home that hold water on a weekly basis (including bird baths, flower pots, wading pools, old tires and other receptacles that collect water
- Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, according to label instructions (consult a physician before using repellents on infants)
- Report dead birds and standing water sources
- Report dead birds and areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may create ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes
West Nile has become a perennial Midwestern issue. Last year more than 60 counties reported positive test results, and eight people died.
IPR's Jaclyn Driscoll contributed to this report.
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