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Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, and more mosquitoes

Published: Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 3:50 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 3:58 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — Mosquito surveillance for the 2012 West Nile Virus season has come to an end in Bureau and Putnam counties with 1,830 mosquitoes sampled and ultimately testing negative for the disease.

Bureau/Putnam County Health Department Director Diana Rawlings said mosquito traps were located throughout Bureau and Putnam counties during the 2012 summer. Although West Nile Virus (WNV) has not been detected in either Bureau or Putnam county through mosquito testing, surrounding counties have had positive mosquito pools, she said.

The Bureau/Putnam County Health Department collected four dead birds in each county for testing this year. Of the total eight birds collected, only one blue jay, collected in the Princeton area, tested positive. The detection of WNV in birds is an indication the virus is here, and the threat of contracting West Nile Virus is still present, Rawlings said.

“So, as we head into the future, we urge the public to continue to make it a practice to take necessary precautions to protect against mosquito bites,” Rawlings said. “Check that screens are intact; dump or get rid of containers that hold water. Also, use insect repellent when outdoors, especially during morning and evening hours, and wear protective clothing.”

The Bureau and Putnam County Health Department would like to thank all those individuals who reported dead birds and mosquito breeding sites during this season.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), WNV has been established as a seasonal epidemic in North America which flares up in the summer and continues into the fall.

CDC statistics show the United States had a total of 5,128 human WNV cases this season, resulting in 229 deaths. The state of Texas had the most human WNV cases at 1,696, including 76 deaths. Following were California with 416 human cases with 16 deaths, and Louisiana with 300 cases and 12 deaths. Illinois had 231 human cases of WNV this year, including 10 deaths. The states of Maine and New Hampshire each had one reported human WNV case this year.

Additional data and information regarding WNV is available through the Bureau/Putnam County Health Department’s website or by calling the Illinois Department of Public Health West Nile Virus Hotline at 866-369-9710. 

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