North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) surveillance indicates that the risk from West Nile virus is increasing. The greatest increases have occurred in the Southern parts of the District including the municipalities of Evanston, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove and Skokie.
The WNV infection rate in mosquitoes collected in District traps during the past week has increased significantly.
According to Roger Nasci, Director of the NSMAD, “We don’t want to cause undue alarm because the infection rate in mosquitoes hasn’t reached the levels we saw during 2012, when there were 20 human West Nile cases in the District, but we do want to get the word out to residents that West Nile virus activity is increasing in the area and personal protection precautions are advisable”.
This year, WNV positive batches of mosquitoes have been found in NSMAD traps located in Evanston, Glenview, Kenilworth, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie and Winnetka.
In response to this increase in WNV activity, the NSMAD is increasing adult and larval control operations in the most affected areas.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected Culex pipiens mosquito.
Most people infected with the virus show no symptoms. Mild cases may cause a slight fever or headache. More severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of a high fever with head and body aches, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and, in the most severe cases, paralysis or death. Symptoms typically occur within three to 14 days after the bite from an infected mosquito. Persons 50 years of age or older are at the highest risk for serious illness.
The NSMAD recommends that residents take personal protection measures to minimize mosquito bites including: using insect repellent, wearing loose fitting clothing and avoiding peak mosquito feeding times during the hours around dawn and dusk. Residents are urged to examine their property and eliminate any items that can hold water, particularly smaller items that may be easily overlooked. If it can hold water, it can breed mosquitoes.
The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) is a local government agency responsible for controlling the regional mosquito population in order to reduce the risk of disease from mosquito borne illness and minimize the negative impact mosquitoes have on the quality of life in the municipalities of Deerfield (Cook County, east of Pfingsten Road) Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview (east of Pfingsten Road), Golf, Kenilworth, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles (east of Harlem Avenue), Northbrook (east of Pfingsten Road), Northfield, Skokie, Wilmette, and Winnetka. Please visit www.nsmad.com for more information.