BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — There was another pool of mosquitos collected in the 61705 area code, east of Bloomington, which tested positive for the West Nile virus.

According to the McLean County Health Department, staff from the Environmental Health division of the MCHD handed out doorknob hangers Monday in the neighborhoods in which the samples were collected to notify the residents of the area and inform them on preventative measures.

This information comes after last week, a mosquito pool that was collected in the 61705 area west of Bloomington tested positive. The MCHD noted that that zip code covers a large part of the county.

The MCHD said over the past four weeks, they have reported dead bird samples that have tested positive for the virus in the 61701 zip code area of Bloomington and the 61761 zip code area in Normal.

The MCHD wanted to reiterate that there is no vaccine for the virus, so the only way to avoid it is to try to avoid mosquito bites. To minimize the risks of mosquito-borne illnesses, MCHD recommends following the 3 Rs:

  • Remove areas of standing water around your yard where mosquitoes can breed, such as old tires or unused planting pots. This is recommended weekly. It takes only 7–10 days for the Culex mosquito egg to develop into a biting adult.”+
  • Repel mosquitoes using insect repellent that includes DEET, lemon eucalyptus oil, or picaridin according to label instructions (consult a physician before using repellents on young children). You can also repel by wearing clothing that covers your skin, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Report dead birds that show no sign of injury to the MCHD Environmental Health division at (309) 888-5482. If it appears the bird died within the past 24 hours (no decay or insect infestation) MCHD may collect it and have it tested for WNV.

The mosquito-borne disease can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and “house” mosquitos become infected by feeding on the infected birds. These mosquitos then infect humans and animals.

“Approximately one in five people infected with WNV will experience symptoms,” said the MCHD. “Mild cases can cause a slight fever or headache. Severe infections can lead to high fever, disorientation, and even paralysis or death. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1,035 human cases of WNV across the U.S. with 79 confirmed deaths.”

The IDPH also announced the first 2023 West Nile-related Illinois human death Wednesday after an individual in their 90s from Cook County had onset symptoms of the virus in early August and then died soon after. The IDPH said there have been 11 non-fatal confirmed cases of humans with the virus in 2023.

For more information on the virus, visit the IDPH website.