West Nile virus (WNV) is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus disease is to prevent mosquito bites. Be aware of the West Nile virus activity in your area and take action to protect yourself and your family.
|Culex mosquitoes not active/limited activity||None required|
|Culex mosquitoes active||
|Confirmed West Nile virus activity found in birds/mosquitoes|
|High West Nile virus activity found in mosquitoes (Human cases probable)|
|Human cases reported in Champaign County or surrounding counties**|
DRAIN: Standing Water. Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.
MOSQUITO-PROOF: Mosquito-Proof Your Home. Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.
*APPLY: Apply Insect Repellent when outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the use of insect repellent products containing active ingredients which have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing.
*WEAR: When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection.
* Take extra care to use insect repellent and wear protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times. The mosquitoes (Culex) that are most likely to transmit WNV are most active from dusk to dawn.
There are several mosquito species found in Illinois. WNV is predominately transmitted locally by the Culex mosquito. Culex mosquitoes feed between dusk and dawn and do not fly far from where they develop.
The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (C-UPHD) and the Champaign County Public Health Department (CCPHD) survey mosquito pools and dead birds to detect and monitor the presence of WNV in Champaign County. During the months of May through October, mosquitoes are trapped at various sites and are tested to determine if WNV is present and to what extent. Surveillance also includes collecting and submitting dead birds for testing. Birds that are eligible for testing include crows, blue jays, robins, and other perching birds. The birds must be freshly deceased with no apparent cause of death. From May through October, residents who live in Champaign County who observe an eligible bird should contact the health department immediately to determine if a bird is acceptable for testing. If WNV is detected in mosquito or bird populations, the C-UPHD and the CCPHD work with local units of government and the media to inform and educate the public.
The C-UPHD contracts with the City of Champaign, the City of Urbana, and the Village of Savoy to provide a mosquito abatement program. Larvicides, which disrupt the life cycle of mosquitoes, are applied to all municipal catch basins that hold standing water. These products are specifically designed to prevent adult mosquito emergence and will not adversely affect humans or mammals.
To learn more about WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases, and about prevention methods, or to file a complaint about a mosquito production site, contact us at (217) 373-7900 or (217) 363-3269. For West Nile virus statistics statewide, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website.