Mosquitoes in Sterling have West Nile Virus, health department says – Shaw Local

STERLING — Mosquitoes collected Aug. 1 near the northwest edge of town tested positive for West Nile Virus, the Whiteside County Health Department said.

“A positive mosquito pool is significant since Culex mosquitoes have a very short flight range of approximately a quarter mile,” said Rian Nailor, director of environmental health, in a news release on Friday.

“A positive test tells us that there are infected mosquitoes buzzing around Sterling putting residents at greater risk of exposure,” he added.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that acquired the virus by feeding on an infected bird. August and September are the peak season for virus activity and the recent warm temperatures have increased the risk in bird and mosquito populations.

People in the vicinity are asked to practice the three Rs of precaution: reduce, repel and report.

Reduce exposure. Avoid being outdoors, especially between dusk and down and ensure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and keep them shut at night. People are also asked to eliminate sources of standing water where mosquitoes breed.

Repel mosquitoes. Wear shoes and socks, long pants and long sleeves outdoors. Apply repellent with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535.

Report. Inform the health department of dead birds at 815-626-2230 ext. 1224. Contact local government entities of stagnant water in public areas.

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