CHICAGO — The Chicago Department of Public Health will be spraying insecticide at dusk in Chicago Lawn on Wednesday.
“When our mosquito traps indicate that the West Nile virus may pose health risks in a community, we take action quickly,” said Public Health Commissioner Julie Morita in a release. “Even though we are only spraying in one community this week, residents throughout Chicago should use appropriate precautions to protect themselves.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health says this year’s first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in the state was reported during mid-May when a Chicago resident in her 60s became ill.
“Because the case occurred earlier in the season than we typically see human cases of West Nile virus in Illinois, IDPH requested additional testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and we received confirmation on June 19,” said state Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah. “West Nile virus can cause serious illness in some people so it’s important that you take precautions like wearing insect repellent and getting rid of stagnant water around your home.”
Wednesday’s use of the insecticide Zenivex is the first spraying for Chicago this summer.
“While the spray is not harmful to people or pets and is routinely sprayed in residential areas across the nation, residents of targeted neighborhoods may choose to stay indoors and close their windows while spraying is underway, as an extra precaution,” said the city’s release. “CDPH staff has been leaving door hangers in the affected areas to notify residents that the spraying will occur.”
A total of 17 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus within Chicago, according to city’s West Nile Virus Surveillance report published on Tuesday.
The following community areas have mosquitos that have tested positive for the virus:
- Archer Heights
- Belmont Cragin
- Chicago Lawn
- Lincoln Square
- New City
- Portage Park
- South Chicago
- South Deering
- South Lawndale
- West Lawn
- West Pullman
- West Town
The West Nile virus cannot be transmitted from person-to-person, only via mosquitoes. Additional information on the virus, including symptoms and how to protect against the virus can be found here.