Cicero’s mosquito abatement program started earlier than usual this year as the first human case of West Nile Virus was reported in the Mount Greenwood area of Chicago. According to the Cicero Health Department, the earlier case is a direct result of the rapid temperature increase and continued rainfall the Chicagoland area experienced this summer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. In North America, cases of West Nile occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. These cases have been reported in all of the continental United States this year, with no vaccines or medications available to prevent treat the virus.
Fortunately, most people infected with West Nile do not express symptoms. About one in five people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. The chances of the symptoms developing into a serious, or even fatal, illness is less than 1 percent.
You can reduce your risk of West Nile by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.