Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Chicago - FOX 32 News Chicago

Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Chicago

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A batch of mosquitoes in Chicago has tested positive for West Nile virus, the first of the year in the city.

“While there have been no West Nile-related illnesses in Chicago reported so far this year, we continue to be vigilant,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair said in a release.

The health department regularly tests mosquitoes caught in traps around the city, and drops larvacide in catch basins to limit the number of mosquitoes, the release said.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by affected mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most people who become infected never develop any symptoms, but some people experience headaches, body aches, pain and other symptoms. Fewer than 1 percent of cases develop serious neurologic illnesses.

Health officials urge residents to take precautions against mosquitoes, and use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Eliminating standing water, keeping grass and weeds short, and wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts when outside between dusk and dawn may also help protect against mosquitoes.

The first positive batch of mosquitoes in Chicago in 2013 was found about the same time last year, the health department said.

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