STERLING – Mosquitoes in Sterling tested positive for the West Nile virus, the Whiteside County Health Department said in a news release Tuesday.
Mosquito batches collected this week near the western part of Sterling city limits tested positive for West Nile virus, said Jeff Deets, Environmental Health Director for the Whiteside County Health Department.
“An overall cooler and wetter spring and summer months have likely attributed to this, later than usual, finding of the WNV for the past several years within Whiteside County,” he said. “However, it should serve as a reminder that West Nile virus related disease is still a threat and will remain so until the first hard frost.”
Mosquitoes transmit the virus after feeding on an infected bird. About one in five people bitten contract West Nile, usually a mild case that brings fever, headache, and body aches. In rare cases encephalitis, meningitis, and death are possible.
Those outside between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, should wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and apply insect repellents that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to exposed skin. Check with a doctor before using repellents on infants, though.
In addition, keep doors and windows fitted with screens and eliminate all sources of standing water, where mosquitoes breed.