Mosquitos test positive for West Nile in Northbrook
Updated: August 20, 2012 10:57AM
NORTHBROOK — Three pools of mosquitos in Northbrook collected earlier this month have tested positive for West Nile Virus.
Even with larval control treatments, the Culex/vector mosquito numbers continue to increase, because of the hot, dry weather, said Dave Zazra, communications manager of the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District.
“Two pools of mosquitoes tested positive in our lab. And when we sent samples down to the Illinois Natural History Survey for another, more sensitive test that indicates DNA levels, three positives came back,” Zazra said.
West Nile is a mosquito-borne virus that may cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, and meningitis, inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, according to a West Nile Virus website.
While it primarily affects birds, it can also strike humans.
Other nearby communities where positive tests have occurred include Glencoe, Glenview/Golf, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Skokie, Wilmette and Winnetka.
People must set aside their belief that rain means mosquitoes, Zazra said.
“It does mean one type of mosquito in this area, but hot and dry is the prime habitat for the mosquito that carries the West Nile Virus,” he added.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting West Nile virus in 20 Illinois counties, including Lake and Cook, though no human cases have been recorded, he added.
The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District is asking residents to take precautions, such as making sure door and window screens are in good repair to keep mosquitoes out of homes; avoiding outdoor activity during dawn and dusk; covering exposed skin with loose fitting, light colored clothing; and wearing repellent.
Residents also should eliminate any sources of standing water as they are potential breeding sites.
apply repellant to clothing and exposed skin, but not under clothing, or on cuts or irritated skin;
don’t use repellants on infants under 2 months. Instead, place netting over a stroller;
don’t using products with DEET on children under 2;
don’t use products that contain oil of lemon eucalyptus on children younger than 3;
don’t apply mosquito repellant to kids’ hands, which go into their mouths;
wash off repellant with soap and water once indoors, as well as washing clothing that has been treated before being worn again.
For more information or to report dead birds, residents east of Pfingsten Road should contact the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District at 847-446-9434 or www.nsmad.com, and residents west of Pfingsten should contact the Northwest Mosquito Abatement District at 847/537-2306 or www.nwmadil.com