Response to the Threat of WNV

Informing the Public and Testing in Response to an Outbreak

Author: Environmental Health Staff/Tuesday, January 1, 2013/Categories: West Nile, West Nile Virus, Disease Prevention and Control

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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. In order to accomplish this, the department will use every means including press releases, social media, newspapers and radio spots on WJOL. If a human case has actually been confirmed, the department will alert both health care providers and the general public that the transmission to more humans is an imminent threat.

At the same time, the department will inform local agencies and health care providers and coordinate with local mosquito abatement contacts to ensure that appropriate control measures are being carried out. Subject to funding, the department will also work with the IDPH and local agencies to implement mosquito control programs in areas of the county not originally covered. The department also must make sure that a coordinated interagency response is maintained throughout the emergency.

In addition to helping coordinate the response of agencies of government and informing the public, the department will continue its own dead bird monitoring and collection so long as it is required by the IDPH. Subject to funding, the WCHD will also deploy field personnel to trap birds and mosquitos and identify potential breeding grounds.

By undertaking these measures and maintaining vigilance against any possible West Nile outbreak, the Will County Health Department and the Environmental Health division hope to prevent the illness, disability and even death that follows from being infected by the virus.

Illinois Department of Public Health - West Nile Virus Information

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