West Nile positive mosquitoes found
On August 25 two batches of mosquitos collected by Livingston County Health Department’s Director of Environmental Health, Donnie Simmons, tested positive for West Nile virus – one batch in Flanagan and one in Pontiac.
Simmons is reminding citizens to take precautions to avoid becoming infected with West Nile virus.
“There are some simple steps you can take, like wearing insect repellent and getting rid of standing water around your home, which will help reduce your risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito.”
Surveillance for West Nile virus by the LCHD includes the collecting of batches of mosquitos and dead birds. Mosquitos are tested at the health department and the birds are submitted to the IDPH laboratory for testing. People who observe a sick or dying bird should contact the LCHD Environmental Health Division at 815-842-5916.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks; however, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 and immunocompromised individuals are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile Virus.