West Nile Virus Control Program

West Nile Virus Control Program

Health Department Initiatives in Public Education, Surveillance and Response to WNV

Increasing public awareness of the need for mosquito control, ongoing surveillance of vulnerable   populations and coordination of response to outbreaks offers the best chance of controlling this disease

The Environmental Health Division takes a lead role in county efforts to combat outbreaks of West Nile virus (WNV) by raising public awareness about the disease through education, helping to ensure surveillance of potentially infected humans, mammals and birds and controlling the spread of the disease. West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause mild illness (West Nile fever) or severe symptoms (encephalitis or meningitis) in humans and other animals bitten by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on birds that carry the virus in their blood. Currently, no vaccine against WNV is available so that mosquito abatement is one of the main tools that can be used to reduce the incidence of the disease. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of WNV if they do get sick and should take special care to avoid mosquito bites. WNV is now considered to be an endemic pathogen in many parts of the world including the United States.

Public Education

West Nile Virus Awareness Among the General Public and Health and Veterinarians

Since outbreaks of West Nile virus occur each summer in the United States, increased public awareness could become one of the keys to mitigating the effects of a disease that is always spread in much the same way and generally presents the same set of symptoms. 

Response to the Threat of WNV

Informing the Public and Testing in Response to an Outbreak

In the event of a dead bird actually testing positive for WNV or the identification of suspected or confirmed human cases, the department will immediately notify the public of the situation and provide advice on how they may best protect themselves. 

Surveillance of WNV Outbreaks

Increased Monitoring Efforts in Conjunction with Local Government and Health Care Providers

Local government units, health and veterinary care providers and a variety of other agencies play a critical role in protecting public health from mosquito-borne diseases by forming part of the dense environmental surveillance network that acts to first identify possible outbreaks of WNV.

West Nile Virus FAQ's

West Nile Virus is the Virus that can cause the Disease West Nile Encepha­litis

How is it transmitted? 

West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of mosquitoes that are infected with the virus.  Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on dead birds that are infected.  The incubation period for humans (time of infection to onset of the disease) is usually three to five days. 

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Environmental Health News
Avoid Possible Exposure to Rabies by Avoiding Bats and Wild Animals

Avoid Possible Exposure to Rabies by Avoiding Bats and Wild Animals

Eight bats test positive for rabies so far this year
West Nile Virus Precaution Makes the News

West Nile Virus Precaution Makes the News

WCHD Staff on CBS2 Monday

Our own Katie Nelson from the Will County Health Department Environmental Health Division explains trapping and collection to Mike Parker of CBS Chicago News during a news segment Monday night. Click to watch the video clip of the news segment.

Debris Management Means Safety

Debris Management Means Safety

Debris Can Cause Serious Pollution Problems

Even after floodwaters recede and the storms have passed debris remains that can cause serious pollution problems and potentially result in ill health effects. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) has developed this fact sheet to outline what you can do to ensure that the waste and debris are disposed of in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Please follow these guidelines to dispose of the debris.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT URGES RADON TESTING

RADON KITS AVAILABLE AT THREE HEALTH DEPARTMENT LOCATIONS

The Will County Health Department urges area homeowners to be aware of radon dangers and test their homes for the presence of an odorless gas with potentially dangerous consequences.
Protect Yourself and Your Family from Potentially Dangerous Mosquito Bites

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Potentially Dangerous Mosquito Bites

Ways in which you can Avoid Being Bitten by Mosquitoes

Here are several ways in which you can avoid being bitten by mosquitos that could carry the West Nile Virus. 

  • When mosquitos are biting, stay indoors during dawn and dusk or in the evening since they are most active during those times.
How to Disinfect Your Well

How to Disinfect Your Well

Inexpensive and Effective Procedure to Remove Harmful Bacteria from Private Wells

The purpose of disinfecting a dug or drilled well is to destroy all disease causing microorganisms (pathogens) that may be present in the well. If after testing the analysis indicates that your well water is unsatisfactory for drinking or cooking, the following procedure should be used to restore water quality:

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