Will County starts mosquito monitoring for West Nile virus
May 21, 2012 9:26AM
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:59PM
JOLIET — The Will County Environmental Health Department began mosquito monitoring on May 17.
Plans call for personnel to conduct weekly monitoring at more than a dozen locations throughout the county.
Weekly mosquito monitoring has been a capstone of Will County’s West Nile virus surveillance and prevention programs since 2002, when Illinois led the nation with 884 human cases and 64 fatalities.
An unusually warm early spring prompted state and local public health authorities to begin dead bird surveillance for West Nile on April 15, a month earlier than usual. Dead bird and mosquito testing provides a glimpse of potential virus trends that could warrant public health intervention.
Will County has totaled 55 human West Nile infections and two fatalities since 2005. Across Illinois, the virus has accounted for more than 1.500 human cases and 100 fatalities.
Will County’s information line is available 24 hours daily for those wishing to report the location of dead birds or learn general information about virus symptoms, history and statistics. Those calling 815-740-7631 also can talk to department personnel about West Nile issues during regular weekly business hours.