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Mosquito pool in Polo tests positive for West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus can be transmitted by mosquito bites.
West Nile Virus can be transmitted by mosquito bites.

The Ogle County Health Department has confirmed a second positive mosquito pool for West Nile Virus in Ogle County.

A pool of mosquitoes in Polo tested positive on Aug. 18. A previous pool in Rochelle tested positive on July 21.

“The OCHD will continue surveillance and testing mosquito pools from across Ogle County, as well as conducting mosquito abatement with methods such as larviciding to help control mosquito populations,” a Tuesday press release said.

Monitoring for West Nile virus in Illinois includes lab tests for mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds as well as testing humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms.

West Nile is transmitted through the bite of Culex mosquitoes, which pick up the virus from feeding on infected birds.

Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. Four out of five people infected with West Nile will not show any symptoms.

Precautions include the “three R’s”: Reduce, Repel and Report.

Reduce by making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens with tears or openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut. Eliminate or refresh each all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

Repel by wearing shoes, socks, long pants and sleeves when outside. Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR-3535 according to label instructions.

Report by calling about locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations. The health department or city government may be able to apply larvicide to the water to kill mosquito eggs.

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