MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WAND) – The Macon County Health Department said on Friday it has discovered the county's first confirmed positive case of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes so far this year.
Sam Force, manager of the Macon Mosquito Abatement District, said his agency is setting up 19 mosquito traps a week, and earlier this week one of its traps caught a batch of mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus. He said it is unknown how many of the insects had the disease, so it could be anywhere from one to about 50 who were in the party.
"You don't know how many in that bundle have a virus," he said. "You assume everyone has a virus."
Fortunately, no Macon County people have tested positive for WNV 201
"The large proportion of people who would have the virus, they have no symptoms," he said. "Some will have flu-like symptoms, and then if it becomes neurologic, neuro-invasive, it can cause paralysis and can even cause death."
Force said a person cannot tell by looking at a mosquito about it has WNV, but there are some steps they can take to avoid mosquitoes in general.
"Wear repellent, he said." We recommend a product that contains at least 30 percent DEET. For younger children, you want a smaller percentage of DEET. "
Force also said get rid of all standing water on property, as these areas attract mosquito bins.
" Look over your property, and if you have standing water "Drain it," he said.
The Macon Mosquito Abatement District says that if you are aware of an area that has standing water for three or more days, you can contact them at (217) 875-2722 to treat it.