Test Results Regarding West Nile Virus In Gurnee Reported – Community-wide Treatment TONIGHT (Thursday, August 16th)

For Release: 
Aug 16, 2012

GURNEE, IL  - As part of our ongoing mosquito surveillance and management program, the Village of Gurnee works with Clarke to routinely trap and test mosquito samples.  The Village was informed that one of the mosquito samples (i.e. grouping of up to 50 mosquitoes) collected in the Village has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).  This means that one or more of the mosquitoes within the sample carried the virus.  The test result was not unexpected, as it is commonly understood that the virus has been present in Northern Illinois and the risk has been heightened this year as a result of the dry conditions. 

With a positive mosquito sample and the others within the region, the Village authorized Clarke to implement other parts of the integrated pest management program to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus to residents.  These steps included ongoing larval control and adult control treatments.  In addition, Gurnee will undergo a Village-wide adult mosquito control treatment during the evening hours of Thursday, August 16th, and continuing into the morning hours of Friday, August 17th, weather permitting.  The spraying will take place in conjunction with treatments in Warren Township, Park City and Third Lake and will be the second community-wide treatment of the season.  While the spraying does not pose a risk to residents, those who are sensitive to odors or have chemical sensitivities may want to keep their windows and doors closed during the treatment.                                                                

As of August 16th, 2012, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports that 37 counties in the State have tested positive for WNV.  In addition, nearly 2,300 positive mosquito samples have tested positive.  Eleven human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in DuPage, Cook, and most recently in the Lake County portion of Buffalo Grove.  In addition to the human case, over 50 pools of mosquitoes and three birds have tested positive for West Nile virus in Lake County this year.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common West Nile virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and report.

  • REDUCE exposure - avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
    • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
    • Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.
  • REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
  • REPORT - contact the Lake County Health Department West Nile Virus Hotline at (847) 377-8300 to report dead birds and Clarke Mosquito Hotline at (800) 942-2555 to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards, backyard catch basins and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Residents concerned about mosquito abatement in the Village are reminded that the Village contracts with Clarke to provide mosquito control services to the Village of Gurnee during the summer and early fall months.  The services provided to the Village are based on an integrated pest management approach, including larval control, biological control and the strategic use of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency labeled and registered pesticides for adult control.  The key is to concentrate on larval control, scientifically assess the adult population, and perform adult mosquito control only as needed.

WNV is a permanent part or endemic of the natural environment of Lake County.  This being the case, efforts will continue by the Village and the County to protect and educate residents.


Additional Resources:

Illinois Department of Public Health


West Nile Virus Information Hotline:  1-866-369-9710


Lake County Health Department


West Nile Virus Hotline:  1-847-377-8300




Mosquito Hotline:  1-800-942-2555


Contact: Erik Jensen, Management Analyst

Phone:  (847) 599-7514

Fax:      (847) 623-9475