State: Time To Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus

Bernie Tafoya
June 18, 2019 - 9:06 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The state said now is the time to start taking precautions against West Nile virus. 

Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus will start being seen near the end of June and early July and that some have already been found. 

Arnold said most cases of West Nile virus are pretty mild, but for some people, it can cause serious illness and even death.

"Typically about four out of five people who are infected are not going to show any symptoms; however, less than one percent of people who are infected will develop serious illness," she said.

"People that are older than 60 should be extra cautious against mosquito bites and those people...(who) are compromised, have a weakened immune system. We recommend that they, definitely, take precautions, as well."

Health officials suggest you use mosquito repellant, especially at times mosquitoes are out most, from dusk to dawn. The IDPH suggest to use repellants that have DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin or IR3535. Wearing pants and long-sleeve shirts also helps.