Spraying for West Nile Virus Prevention
In the evening on Wednesday, August 1, the City of Chicago Department of Public Health will be continuing efforts against West Nile Virus by spraying to kill adult mosquitoes in portions of the 40th Ward.
While the spray is not harmful to people or pets and is routinely sprayed in residential areas across the nation, residents of targeted neighborhoods may choose to stay indoors and close their windows while spraying is underway, as an extra precaution.
The mild spring, followed by a hot and dry summer, has allowed for an increased abundance of West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes throughout the City this summer. Currently, the risk of WNV transmission is high and can be expected to increase during the month of August. Out of 1,255 mosquito pools tested this year, 18.7% have tested positive for WNV, compared to 1% that were positive at this time last year.
Residents are recommended take the following steps to avoid West Nile Virus:
- Use insect repellant containing DEET,Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
- Consider limiting outdoor activity after dark (dusk to dawn), which is when Northern House Mosquito is most active.
- When outside between dusk and dawn, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing that includes long pants, long-sleeved shirts, socks and shoes.
- Check to see that all screen on doors and windows are tight-fitting and free of holes and tears.
- Encourage neighbors to exercise same precautions.
Limit mosquito breeding opportunities by eliminating standing water:
- drain and replace birdbath and wading pool water every 4-5 days;
- properly dispose of refuse and recyclables (tires, jars, cans, pans, bottles, buckets) that can hold standing water;
- make sure that rain gutters, downspouts, swimming pools and pool covers are free of standing water;
- keep grass and weeds cut short to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes
West Nile Disease, Reported Cases in Chicago:
- 2002 225 cases, 22 fatalities
- 2003 4 cases, 0 fatalities
- 2004 6 cases, 1 fatality
- 2005 41 cases, 1 fatality
- 2006 29 cases, 1 fatality
- 2007 11 cases, 0 fatalities
- 2008 4 cases, 0 fatalities
- 2009 1 case, 0 fatalities
- 2010 1 case, 0 fatalities
- 2011 8 cases, 0 fatalities
For more information read the full news release from city officials.