West Nile closes in on Evanston

Mosquito abatement officials warned Thursday that mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile virus have now been found in traps in Lincolnwood and Skokie, but not yet in Evanston so far this year.

Previously, the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District had announced discovery of the virus in traps in Glenview, Morton Grove, and Niles.

As before, they are advising residents to take personal protection measures to minimize mosquito bites, including using insect repellent, wearing loose fitting clothing, and avoiding peak mosquito feeding times during the hours around dawn and dusk.

The most recent disclosure involved batches of mosquitoes collected earlier this week from traps in Lincolnwood and Skokie that tested positive for the West Nile virus in the NSMAD lab on Thursday.

The agency is also urging residents to check their property for items, such as bird baths, that can hold water. They contend that “if it can hold water, it can breed mosquitoes.”

West Nile virus was first identified in Illinois in 2001 and by 2002, Illinois had more than 884 human cases and 67 confirmed deaths, according to a statement from the city’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Most people become infected with West Nile virus by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds and then spread the virus to humans and other animals, the city warns.

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