For the first time in 2021, the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District found mosquitoes that tested positive for the West Nile virus in mid-June.
According to information from the abatement district, one batch of mosquitoes that was collected on June 9 from a trap in nearby Skokie tested positive for the virus in its lab on June 11.
Officials from the local government agency confirmed risk to humans remains low, but offered safety tips.
“While the risk of being infected with West Nile virus is low at this time of year, the NSMAD recommends that residents 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,” a statement from the NSMAD reads.
Officials also suggest that residents examine their property and eliminate any items that can hold water, especially smaller items that can be overlooked. Standing water can be reported in your area either by calling the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District at (847) 446-9434 or filling out its online form.
The most recent report from the NSMAD, published at the end of June, found zero positive samples; however, because of recent rainfall events, officials are promoting vigilance.
“Recent rainfall has created numerous potential mosquito breeding sites throughout the area, please be sure to
examine your property for items that are holding water and drain them as soon as possible,” a statement reads.
Since 2010, according to district data, there have been three human cases of the West Nile Virus recorded in Wilmette, one in Glencoe and one in Northfield, and zero in both Winnetka and Kenilworth. In 2020 alone, the data shows, 39 mosquito samples tested positives for the virus in Wilmette, 32 in Winnetka and 24 in Glencoe.
The NSMAD serves Deerfield (Cook County only), Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview (East of Pfingsten Road), Golf, Kenilworth, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles (East of Harlem Ave.), Northbrook (East of Pfingsten Road), Northfield, Skokie, Winnetka and Wilmette.
To read the agency’s full reports, or for more information, visit nsmad.com.
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Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.