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west nile

Buckets, old tires and clogged gutters and downspouts that hold water make the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

DECATUR — The Macon County Health Department is reporting the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile Virus this year.

The mosquitoes were collected by the Macon Mosquito Abatement District. The health department said there are currently no human cases of the virus in Illinois.

The abatement district inspects and treats areas of standing water for mosquito larvae daily and should be contacted at (217) 875-2722 to investigate areas where water has stood for three or more days. 

The health department said people should throw out containers that may capture water and use repellent. 

Community members are also encouraged to call the health department at (217) 423-6988 when a dead bird is found. 

“The surveillance of birds and mosquitoes provides an early warning. I urge residents to protect themselves and their family while outside when mosquitoes are biting," said Kathy Wade, the health department's director of environmental health, in a statement. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday said the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District collected West Nile-positive mosquitoes on May 25 in the suburbs of Glenview and Morton Grove. Public Health Director Nirav Shah says as temperatures rise, the state will start to see more West Nile Virus activity.

The virus is transmitted through bites from mosquitoes that picked up the virus from an infected bird. Symptoms include fever, nausea and aches.

The Illinois Department of Public Health last year reported 90 human cases, which included eight deaths.

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Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR

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Government Reporter

Government reporter for the Herald & Review.

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