Ford-Iroquois Health Department Offers Advice Regarding Mosquito Protection
Mosquitoes may transmit serious and sometimes fatal diseases in humans and their pets.
Eimen indicated that Encephalitis is the disease transmitted by mosquitoes that is of the most concern. According to Eimen, encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that can be caused by viruses. "Not all types of encephalitis viruses are carried by mosquitoes," said Eimen. "However, mosquitoes do carry at least three kinds of encephalitis viruses that cause human disease in Illinois." Mr. Eimen explained that the La Crosse encephalitis is normally an infection of squirrels and chipmunks; affecting mainly children. St Louis encephalitis is an infection of wild birds and affects mostly older adults. The West Nile Virus, which has been more widely discussed in the news as of late, is a disease of birds that can cause encephalitis primarily in older adults.
Mr. Eimen said the most logical way to prevent transmission of these diseases is to take steps to prevent mosquitoes from breeding around the home. Eimen stated that mosquito larvae must live in still water for five or more days to complete their growth before changing into adult biting mosquitoes capable of transmitting disease. "Often the number of mosquitoes around the home can be greatly reduced by removing sources of standing water." Eimen offered these tips to homeowners provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health: