Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Additional West Nile Virus
Cook County Health Department places traps in areas to monitor the activity of mosquitoes and to detect the presence of West Nile infected mosquitoes. I do not believe the locations really should not(sic) be disclosed. They don't want folks messing with the traps. The more important issue is that a positive mosquito has ended up within our city (of Berwyn). We would not want a false sense of confidence spread throughout our city because the mosquito was on one end of town rather than the other, would we? We suggest the following precautions be taken:
Residents are being asked to survey their property and remove any potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes. This would include making sure that there is no standing water. Keeping areas clear of stagnant water will reduce the mosquito population and therefore reduce the risk to humans.
The West Nile Virus causes encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain. People with compromised immune systems are more susceptible, such as the infirmed and the elderly. Infants and young children are also at a higher risk. Mild symptoms associated with the virus include fever, head and body aches, often with swollen lymph glands. More severe infection is marked by headache, high fever and neck stiffness, which can progress to stupor, disorientation, coma, tremor, convulsions, and paralysis and in relatively rare instances, death.
PRECAUTIONS TO UTILIZE TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROPERTY
* Turnover containers that hold water, such as bird feeders.
* Change water in wading pools and backyard ponds every seven days to kill mosquito larvae. If the pond has fish, the fish will eat the larvae. Monitor quality of water in residential swimming pools. If pool will be unused for a long period of time, make sure it is chlorinated and a pool cover is in place.
* Check flat roofs, clean roof and gutters where standing water may gather.
* Unused flowerpots should be turned upside down or stored in an area where they will not gather rainwater.
PRECAUTIONS TO UTILIZE TO SAFEGUARD YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions, especially with weakened immune systems, are at a greater risk.
Reduce your outside activities at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are more active.
Personal protection is wise; whenever you are outdoors, wear long pants and long sleeves to minimize your exposure area.
Utilize mosquito netting on strollers of infants and young children to prevent mosquito bites.
A mosquito repellent containing 30% DEET ( diethyltoluamide) is recommended for use when it is necessary to be outdoors, apply sparingly to exposed skin or clothing, as indicated on the repellent label. Consult a physician before using repellents on small children. Natural repellents are also available from Health Food stores. Once you and your children return indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Berwyn Public Health District