McLean County health officials are alerting residents in areas of Bloomington near where a bird tested positive for West Nile virus.
The McLean County Health Department received notification that a bird had recently tested positive for the mosquito-borne illness in the 61704 zip code which covers south and east Bloomington. Department staff is going door-to-door to provide prevention information for residents in the surrounding area.
The agency reported in June the first mosquito pool had tested positive for West Nile.
The department said the occasional dip in day and evening temperatures hasn’t removed the risk of contracting West Nile virus. It’s reminding residents that avoiding mosquito bites is the best protection from the disease.
The health department is advising residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of West Nile virus:
- 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
Eight people in Illinois died from West Nile virus last year, while the virus was detected in more than 60 counties in Illinois.
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