There are no West Nile vaccines licensed for use in humans, and no medications to cure West Nile disease once a person is infected by a mosquito, according to state health officials.
Birds and horses are vulnerable to the virus as well, with dead birds, crows, ravens, magpies, jays and raptors in particular being an indicator of West Nile.
West Nile virus mainly affects birds, but it can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that feed off an infected animal and then bite people.
Mosquitoes in Jackson County, Illinois are able to do more than just annoy residents, some have been found with the West Nile virus. One in five people infected will develop a fever along with other symptoms like headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. "We must use this unfortunate event as a reminder that West Nile virus is still here", said Duane Holder, Interim Health Director.
So far, no new West Nile mosquitos have been discovered and the health department is working hard to fight this problem.
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Because they're not bothered too much by mosquitoes in daytime, residents "think they don't have to take precautions, but now is the time they need to be vigilant about this", Hanson said.
Reduce mosquito exposure by limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
Get rid of mosquitoes breeding sites, by emptying stand-in water from buckets and barrels, or flower pots.
To avoid getting mosquitoes in your house, make sure windows are tightly closed and to replace screens with holes in them. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in ver baths weekly. Although it may be hard to do when it's hot, wearing long-sleeves, long trousers, and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors. Drain any standing water in your yard each week.