West Nile Virus

West Nile VirusYour best bet for preventing West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to avoid exposure to mosquitoes and eliminate mosquito breeding sites.
To help control West Nile Virus:
  • Eliminate standing water in your yard. Mosquitoes breed in pools of water
  • Unclog all of your roof gutters
  • Empty unused swimming pools
  • Change water in birdbaths at least weekly
  • Remove old tires or any unused containers that might hold water and serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes
  • Watch for sick or dying birds and report them to the Health Department at 630-682-7400 (ask for a Westmont Office Sanitarian)
To reduce your own exposure to mosquitoes:
  • Avoid unnecessary outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most prevalent, such as at dawn, dusk and early evening.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you go into mosquito-infested areas.
  • Apply mosquito repellent with a 10 percent to 30 percent concentration of DEET to your skin and clothing. Choose the concentration based on the hours of protection you need - a 10 percent concentration is effective for about two hours, while higher concentrations last longer. Keep in mind that chemical repellants can be toxic, and use only the amount needed for the time you'll be outdoors. Don't use DEET on the hands of young children or on infants under 2 months of age. Instead, cover your infant's stroller or playpen with mosquito netting when outside. According to the CDC, oil of lemon eucalyptus, a more natural product, offers the same protection as DEET when used in similar concentrations.
To report suspicious dead birds:
  • Test birds are crows, blue jays and other perching birds including grackles, starlings, robins, cardinals, catbirds, mockingbirds, sparrows, finches, flycatchers, warblers and wrens.
  • Birds should have been dead for no more than 48 hours, show no signs of damage or obvious death from an accident and have no signs of decomposing.
  • Birds that are suitable for testing should be reported by calling the DuPage County Health Department at 630-682-7400 and asking for the Westmont Office Sanitarian.
  • Dead birds that do not meet the testing criteria should be double-bagged in plastic and disposed of with the regular household garbage.