Chicago – As part of their ongoing surveillance and prevention program, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has confirmed the first West Nile virus positive mosquito batch in the City for 2014.
“While there have been no West Nile-related illnesses in Chicago reported so far this year, we continue to be vigilant,” said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D. “Today’s news is an opportunity to remind Chicagoans what they can do to protect themselves and each other.”
Every year, CDPH conducts a comprehensive West Nile virus surveillance and prevention program. This includes dropping larvacide in catch basins, which helps limit the number of mosquitoes that can carry the virus, and regularly testing mosquitoes that are caught in traps located throughout the city. This information guides CDPH’s efforts throughout the season, allowing teams to respond quickly in the right geographic areas to further reduce risks through neighborhood outreach and spraying.
CDPH reminds residents to take precautions against mosquitos who may carry the virus, including:
“There is no substitution to preparation,” Commissioner Choucair continued. “This is why we have been working hard to limit the spread of West Nile virus and encourage every resident to do his or her part and prepare together.”
Last year, the first positive batch in Chicago was identified around the same time of year. The first positive sample identified in Illinois this year occurred in late May in Henry County.
West Nile virus cannot be transmitted from person-to-person. Instead, it is transmitted to humans via mosquitoes. Most mosquitoes do not carry the virus. Additional information on the virus, including symptoms and how to protect against the virus can be found here.
As part of their ongoing response efforts, CDPH will continue to monitor the area where the mosquito batch tested positive. Following additional tests, CDPH will determine the appropriate next steps to be taken, including possible spraying, to best protect Chicago residents.