Mosquitoes in one area of Illinois have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

West Nile Virus in mosquitoes is nothing new and it is making it's way into Illinois. The virus can make you develop a fever and flu-like symptoms and for adults over 60, it could lead to more severe illnesses. And unfortunately, since it's summer, mosquitoes are out a lot and they love snacks.


Luckily, in Illinois, there haven't been any humans reported sick with the West Nile Virus yet. NBC Chicago reports that the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed that the first mosquitoes in the state tested positive for the virus on June 1st. The infected mosquitoes were found in the Chicago area.

Precautions You Can Take

Mosquitoes are common around standing water and they're out a lot around dawn and dusk. NBC Chicago recommends these precautions for avoiding catching the virus:

  • Use insect repellant that contains DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Eliminate standing water where you can (clean out stuff like flowerpots, gutters, tires, toys, pet water dishes and birdbaths weekly)
  • Keep grass and weeds cut short
  • At dusk and dawn, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, socks and shoes
  • Make sure that all screens, windows and doors are tight-fitting and don't have any tears or holes
  • Check on your neighbors, especially if they're older, live alone, or need additional help

I've used citronella candles to help deter the mosquitoes while I'm sitting out at night too. Whatever keeps them away.

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