Mosquitoes in Metro East test positive for West Nile Virus -

Mosquitoes in Metro East test positive for West Nile Virus

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A generic photograph of mosquitos. A generic photograph of mosquitos.

WOOD RIVER, Ill. ( –Metro East Health Departments have confirmed the rise in mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile Virus over the past week.

According to officials, positive samples have been collected in Belleville, Collinsville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Fairview Heights, Freeburg, Hamel Township, Marine Township, Maryville, O’Fallon, Shiloh, Stookey Township, and Troy.

The West Nile Virus is spread through the bite of a mosquito that has contracted the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Metro East Health Departments have found positive birds and/or mosquitoes in 44 Illinois counties this season.

“Our health departments monitor activity and conduct surveillance every year mid-April through mid-October,” Assistant Administrator at East Side Health District Myla Blandford stated in a press release.

With numbers increasing throughout the area, health officials urge citizens to regularly use repellent to defend against mosquitoes and wear protective clothing during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

In order to prevent West Nile Virus, or any other mosquito-borne illness, officials believe people need to follow three key precautions: Reduce, repel, and report.

“We need your help to reduce the number of mosquitoes, reduce opportunities for mosquitoes, and prevent bites,” said Mary Copper, Environmental Health Manager at Madison County Health Department.

At this time no human cases of the virus have been reported. 

For more information about the West Nile Virus you can visit the Illinois Department of Public Health’s site.

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