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5/3/2013 4:00:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Local health department warns of mosquito risks from recent floodwaters
LAWRENCEVILLE - The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that large numbers of floodwater mosquitoes appear about two weeks after heavy rains and flooding. 

Floodwater mosquitoes are rarely infected with the West Nile virus, a news release from the Lawrence County Health Department reported.  Mosquitoes can develop in any standing water that is present for more than five days. 

Lawrence County Health Department officials said the agency "continues to diligently work on the control of all types of mosquitoes in the county which includes applying larvicide to standing water to prevent new ones."

The best prevention is educating the community on effective proactive ways to control of all types of mosquitoes and help prevent cases of West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, Health Department officials said.

West Nile Virus is a very real threat to everyone in the county.  West Nile Virus can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes can either carry the virus or get it by feeding on infected birds. Mild cases of West Nile infections 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.

Illinois Department of Public Health recommends protecting homes against mosquitoes by eliminating the following potential mosquito breeding areas:

- Wear insect repellent and light-colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts whenever possible;

- Repair holes in doors and window screens;

- Clean roof gutters and downspout screens;

- Get rid of old tires, buckets, drums, bottles and any other water-holding containers from the yard;

- Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts) in the yard;

- Keep drains, ditches and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water will drain properly;

- Cover trash cans to keep out rainwater;

- Add sand to outdoor plant pot drip trays to absorb excess water;

- Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps with sand or "rock wool;

- Keep your grass cut short and shrubbery well-trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes will not hide there;

- Use environmentally friendly larvicides which kill mosquito larvae without danger to people, pets or wildlife in places like small stagnant ponds, rain barrels and low-lying wet areas;

- Drain uncovered boat or boat cover that collects water;

- Repair leaky outside faucet or pet bowl (change water daily);

- Monitor flat roof without adequate drainage;

- Remove or drain any toy, garden equipment, or containers that can hold water, including pool covers that collect water, neglected swimming pools, hot tubs, or child's wading pools.

Lawrence County Health Department officials said they appreciate everyone's cooperation with the efforts to reduce the mosquito population and to prevent West Nile Virus in our community. 

For more information, please go to www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm or contact the the LCHD at (618) 943-3302.





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