West Nile virus and mosquitoes.
Updated: September 9, 2012 1:15AM
The first presence of West Nile virus in Lake County this summer has been confirmed after a mosquito pool in Mundelein tested positive.
Despite the lack of rain, mosquitoes are still active in many areas of the county and Culex mosquitoes, those that carry West Nile virus, tend to thrive in dry conditions.
The batch of mosquitoes was sampled July 6 in Mundelein and is the first indicator of the disease’s presence in Lake County in 2012, the Lake County Health Department said Tuesday.
In 2011, no human cases, one bird, and 14 mosquito pools tested positive for the virus in the county.
“Hot weather typically increases mosquito activity,” said Irene Pierce, the Health Department’s executive director. “You can protect yourself against mosquito bites by following the three R’s — reduce your exposure to mosquitoes, repel them by wearing insect repellent and report areas where mosquitoes typically breed.”
The Health Department maintains a West Nile virus hotline for county residents to report areas of stagnant water which are conducive for mosquito breeding, or to obtain more information on the signs and symptoms of West Nile encephalitis.
The West Nile hotline number is (847) 377-8300.