St. Clair Health Dept advises preparation to combat West Nile Vi -

St. Clair Health Dept advises preparation to combat West Nile Virus

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

With the warmer temperatures of Spring and Summer, comes outdoor fun and mosquitoes. 

With those mosquitoes comes the risk of West Nile Virus. 

The St. Clair County Health Department is advising the public to prepare themselves against the virus reducing, repelling, and reporting. 

To reduce their risk, the health department suggests making sure all doors and windows are secure when closed, and that screens are secured. Those with gardens, flower pots, and bird baths are advised to change any standing water. The stagnant water could develop into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. 

The public is also asked to report any areas where standing water is present, and when they spot any dead birds. The birds,which must be dead for at least 24 hours, infect the mosquitoes with the virus. 

Mosquitoes, the health department said, contract the virus when biting the birds. Once they are contracted, the insects can carry the virus to humans when they feed on their blood. Humans cannot contract the virus from other humans, only through the mosquitoes and birds that carry the virus.

The health department said they want to collect the deceased birds for testing. Anyone can report the dead birds by calling the St. Clair Health Department at (618) 233-7769 or  (618) 271-8722 for residents in East St. Louis townships and Centreville. 

Long sleeves, socks, and bug spray containing DEET are also encouraged to be worn during the mosquito season. 

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