Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile near Boone, Lee counties
(WIFR) - A pool of mosquitoes collected in the Belvidere zip code on Monday, August 8, and another pool collected near the northwest edge of Sterling have tested positive for the West Nile virus.
“A positive test tells us that there are infected mosquitoes buzzing around Sterling putting residents at greater risk of exposure,” says Rian Nailor, Director of Environmental Health for the Whiteside County Health Department.
West Nile virus is transmitted when mosquitoes feed on an infected bird. Health officials say the recent warm temperatures may have contributed to the increase of the virus in the bird and mosquito populations.
“The best way to prevent West Nile encephalitis and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” said Amanda Mehl, Public Health Administrator of the Boone County Health Department.
The threat of West Nile exposure can remain until the first frost and is highest during August and September.
Health officials say it is important for the public to continue their vigilance and take some simple precautions to reduce the number of mosquitoes nearby and protect from exposure.
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