WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- As of this morning, the Winnebago County Health Department confirmed two human cases of the West Nile virus. Even though mosquito season is almost over, mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus are at a season high.
"As the year goes by the replication of the virus in the birds is building. So this is really a peak time that people can get exposed," said Larry Swacina with the Winnebago County Health Department.
Two residents in Winnebago township were found to have a mild case of the West Nile virus. Luckily, both are recovering well.
"We've had people in the county nearly die in the past from West Nile and people throughout the state who have died from it,” Swacina added.
To protect yourself and your family until the end of the mosquito season, the county has a few guidelines to stick to.
"We want everybody to follow the three R's which is reduce, repel, and report. Reduce all stagnant water on your property. Repel, you should used a mosquito spray containing DEET and of course continue to report dead birds," said Todd Marshall also with the Winnebago County Health Department.
While infected birds can transport the virus far distances, mosquitoes carrying the virus can spring up in your backyard.
"Qulix mosquitos which is the type that carries West Nile, they tend to have a very short flying range of a quarter mile to a half a mile so if you are having problems with this West Nile virus, it's because something in your immediate neighborhood. They are not flying long range," says Marsh.
The Health Department says draining gutters and bird baths at least once a week could prevent West Nile virus. For more information, persons can call the Winnebago County Health Department West Nile virus information line with questions or wish to speak to a health professional at 815-720-4240, Monday - Friday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Additional information on West Nile virus, can be obtained at the Center for Disease Control’s website at www.cdc.gov/features/StopMosquitoes.