The Tazewell County Health Department has reported finding mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus in the Village of Mackinaw, which includes Heritage Lake. Please take the proper precautions if you will be outside at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Also please take action to eliminate standing water on your property if at all possible. While the recent flooding and high rain levels make this difficult, eliminating standing and stagnant water in artificial containers (planters, buckets, wheelbarrows, etc.) and gutters will go a long way towards mitigating the risk.
From the Village of Mackinaw:
On Tuesday, July 14, 2015 the Village of Mackinaw was contacted by the Tazewell County Health Department that a mosquito was collected in the Village limits that tested positive for West Nile virus. Please see below information from their website regarding West Nile Virus if you have any other questions please contact the Tazewell County Health Department at (309) 925-3511 or you can visit their website at www.tazewellhealth.org
Any place where water lasts more than seven to ten days can be a possible breeding area for mosquitoes. Residents need to check their property and eliminate any potential areas were mosquitoes might breed. These mosquitoes develop in areas such as: overgrown ponds, stagnant and shaded pools, poorly managed waste-effluent lagoons, catch basins, puddles in drainage ditches, and mostly artificial containers. Some artificial containers include: old tires, tin cans, bird baths, and roof gutters.
- Residents are encouraged to stay indoors at dawn, and dusk through early evening, when mosquitoes are most active.
- When outdoors between dusk and dawn, wear loose-fitting, light-colored, and long-sleeved tops and long pants made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Use a repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Apply sparingly to exposed skin and/or clothing as indicated on the product’s label.
- According to the CDC, “No definitive studies exist in the scientific literature about what concentration of DEET is safe for children. No serious illness has been linked to the use of DEET in children when used according to manufacturer’s recommendations.”
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Insect repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide, also known as N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) with a concentration of 10% appear to be as safe as products with a concentration of 30% when used according to the directions on the product labels. DEET is not recommended for use on children under 2 months of age.”
- If you are concerned about using repellent products on children you may wish to consult a health care provider for advice or contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) through their toll-free number, 1-800-858-7378 or npic.orst.edu
- When using repellent on a child, apply it to your own hands and then rub them on your child. Avoid children’s eyes and mouth and use it sparingly around their ears.
- Do not apply repellent to children’s hands. (Children tend to put their hands in their mouths.)
- Do not allow your children to apply insect repellent to themselves; have an adult do it for them.
- Keep repellents out of reach of children.
- Do not apply repellent to skin under clothing. If repellent is applied to clothing, wash treated clothing before wearing again.
The majority of cases result in a symptom free infection. A smaller percentage of cases of WNV result in a mild febrile illness (West Nile Fever) characterized by fever, headache, body aches, nausea, skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes. Rarer, more severe cases of WNV cause encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and/or meningitis (swelling of the tissues lining the brain). These more severe forms often have similar early symptoms as West Nile Fever, but are characterized by high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, vision loss, numbness, and paralysis.
Everyone is at risk for contracting West Nile Virus. Elderly people and those with compromised immune systems are more susceptible than younger age groups.