City sprays for mosquitoes

August 15, 2008 12:26:55 PM PDT
Starting at 8 p.m. Thursday, crews began spraying for mosquitoes on the city's Far South Side. Weather permitting, the spraying will continue for four or five hours in the areas bounded by 95th Street on the north, the city limits on the south, Halsted on the east and Longwood Drive on the west.

Officials said they are targeting the area where mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus were trapped.

"From what we are seeing in our mosquito traps, it is clear that West Nile Virus is starting to surge and threaten human health in part of the Far South Side," said Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) Commissioner Terry Mason, M.D. in a press release. "We are taking quick and decisive action to protect the public health."

Crews led by supervisors with the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation will begin spraying at dusk because that is the peak period of activity for the Northern House Mosquito, which carries West Nile Virus.

Last year, 11 cases of West Nile - related illness-- 1 of which was fatal-- were reported in Chicago. Statewide, there were 101 reported cases and four deaths. Nationally, in 2007, 3,630 human cases of West Nile-related illness were reported. 124 of them were fatal.

So far this year, 12 Illinois counties have reported positives tests for West Nile in birds and mosquitoes. There has been one confirmed human case of West Nile- related illness in Kane County.

Mosquito Fighting Tips

  • Use Repellant containing DEET, (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), Picaridin, (KBR 3023) or Oil of Lemon eucalyptus (PMD)
  • Limit outdoor activity after dark
  • Wear loose fitting, light-colored clothing after dark
  • Check screens on doors/windows
  • drain/replace birdbaths/wading pools
  • dispose of anything that can hold standing water
  • keep grass/weeds cut short
  • For weekly updates on West Nile Virus activity in Chicago, visit City's Health Department (cityofchicago.org/health)


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