According to a team of health officials, after analyzing a batch of mosquitoes, they found that the insects were carrying the West Nile virus. The researchers said this is the fourth time this year they discovered infected mosquitoes in a Chicago suburb.
The experts said they first identified mosquitoes carrying the deadly virus in Evergreen Park and Oak Lawn at the beginning of May. After further analysis, they discovered the West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes in two other Chicago suburbs: in Evanston and the most recent one, in Skokie.
According to the reports, there were no humans infected with the West Nile virus this year.
Local health officials have been busy trying to exterminate the mosquitoes which are the carriers of the disease, and to raise awareness on the dangers of this virus.
Experts say that the symptoms of the West Nile virus don’t usually appear for 3-14 days after the person has been bitten by a mosquito that was infected with the disease. Although the virus can affect anyone, people who are over 50 and those whose immune system is weakened are more likely to contract the disease.
Residents living in the Chicago suburbs where the mosquitoes have been identified as being infected with the West Nile virus expressed their concern regarding this issue. Joe Putnick, who lives in Skokie said the whole situation is scary and he feels that he cannot protect his grandchildren from the infected mosquitoes.
Health officials are warning the residents to take measures in order to avoid contracting the virus. They need to stay indoors at dusk and at dawn because that’s when the mosquitoes are most active. Health officials also advise people to use insect repellant when going outside and wear long sleeves and long pants to avoid being bit by mosquitoes.
Tricia Migely is one of the mothers who are very concerned for the safety of their children. She said that she’s been applying bug spray on her hands and on her daughter to make sure she doesn’t get bit by mosquitoes and contract the West Nile virus.
Experts also warn people to empty any containers filled with standing water around their house because this can be the perfect breeding place for mosquitoes. So any plastic containers, tin cans, ceramic pots and discarded tires should be emptied of water because mosquitoes love to be around them. Also, health officials advise people to clean their swimming pools and chlorinate them if they are not using them.
Image Source: upi