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Posted on: May 23, 2022

Summer = Mosquitoes and the Threat of West Nile Virus

Mosquito

September 2022 Update: The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed the first human death of West Nile virus (WNV) reported in Illinois for 2022. See important information below on how to protect you and your family! 

The Northshore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) monitors for West Nile virus in Skokie by collecting mosquitoes and completing laboratory tests for WNV. Click here for information on how to ’fight the bite’ and more! The NSMAD offers Skokie residents these programs and information:

  • The NSMAD Tire Collection Program to avoid breeding areas for mosquitoes; click here for details.
  • Please contact us (NSMAD) for a free property inspection before using a yard spray or sign a contract with a private pest control provider for barrier sprays. NSMAD staff will look for breeding sources and treat those that need it and identify whether a barrier treatment or other further action is warranted.  Learn more here
  • It's vitally important to eliminate or treat items that can hold water and lead to mosquito breeding sites.

Skokie Health and Human Services Department encourages Skokie residents to Fight the Bite by practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report:

  • REDUCE - make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut. Eliminate, or refresh each week, all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and any other containers. 
  • REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a light-colored, long-sleeved shirt, and apply an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants. See NSMAD’s website for the EPA’s repellent decision guide.  
  • REPORT – report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. NSMAD may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito larvae.

Most people infected with the virus will have few or mild symptoms including fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes. Severe infections can cause high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, muscle weakness and, rarely, death. Symptoms generally occur three to 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito. Anyone can get WNV, however, people over age 50 or individuals with a weakened immune system have the highest risk of developing severe illness. If you suspect you have WNV you should contact your doctor.

If you find a dead bird it is important to contact the Skokie Health and Human Services Department to collect the bird for testing. Historically, some birds have tested positive for WNV, and results from testing help to determine the extent of WNV activity. To report a dead bird, please call 847/933-8484.

For more information on WNV or to report potential mosquito breeding sites, please contact the Skokie Health and Human Services Department at 847/933-8484 or the NSMAD at 847/446-9434. 



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