The wet weather we had, followed by the dry weather we're having, make for great living conditions---if you're a mosquito.

And, when we get an onslaught from the little bloodsuckers, thoughts begin to turn toward West Nile Virus.

The Winnebago County Health Department reports that a pool of mosquitoes in Winnebago County has tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

The WCHD also reports that they have no human cases to report, but the presence of mosquitoes carrying the virus does raise the risk for humans.

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to avoid contracting West Nile Virus is to avoid and/or prevent mosquito bites.

Some other ways include:

  • When outdoors, use repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, some oil of lemon eucalyptus or paramenthane-diol. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.

If you think that perhaps you've contracted West Nile Virus, the CDC says that symptoms may vary depending on the severity:

  • About 1 in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
  • Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will have symptoms which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen
    lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days to as long as several weeks.
  • Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop an illness or not.

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