The Cook County Department of Public Health has added to the number of reported West Nile Virus cases. “While we do not want to alarm residents, residents need to understand that the virus is everywhere in suburban Cook County and they need to take basic, easy precautions to prevention against the virus,” said CCDPH interim chief operating officer, Sandra Martell, RN, DNP.
The best way to prevent West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites:
- Use insect repellents with DEET, pircaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus when you go outdoors.
- Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors.
- Empty standing water from items outside your home, such as gutters, flowerpots, buckets, kiddie pools and birdbaths. Water that is allowed to stagnate for three or four days becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Keep weeds and grass cut short and keep gutters clean and free of debris.