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Suffredin Urges Constituents to Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Special to

As the summer heat begins it is important to remember that West Nile Virus is still a threat to our area. To protect your family and friends from exposure to West Nile Virus you must take precautions. Commissioner Larry Suffredin, 13th District, urges constituents to actively fight the West Nile Virus this season.

Suggested precautions to protect yourself and prevent illness are:

  • Limit time outdoors when mosquito activity is heaviest (dusk to dawn).
  • If outside, wear socks, shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Loose-fitting, light colored clothing is best.
  • Protect babies and small children by using mosquito netting over strollers.
  • Apply mosquito repellent containing 20-35% Deet primarily to clothing. (N, n-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Always follow label directions.
  • Talk to your doctor before applying repellent to infants or children.
  • Eliminate places where mosquitoes breed by getting rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or other items that collect water.
  • Check clogged gutters, downspout screens and flat roofs that may have poor drainage.
  • Change the water in bird baths and plant pot or drip trays at least once a week.
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use.
  • Small pools of water can be treated for mosquito larvae with "Bit", a bacterial insecticide. Many hardware stores carry doughnut-shaped Bit briquets for this purpose. Always follow label directions.
  • Keep weeds and tall grasses cut short. Adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours.

Whether West Nile Virus is a serious threat this summer remains to be seen. Mosquito activity is closely tied to rainfall and temperatures. A rainy spring and a hot dry summer can be the catalyst for heavy mosquito breeding. Report any dead bird findings to the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH).

The Cook County Department of Public Health has established a 24-hour phone line, 708-492-2650, to assist with the reporting of all dead birds, especially crows and blue jays. Residents may also report dead birds or other dead animals by downloading a reporting form at:

For more information contact my constituent service office or the Cook County Department of Public Health, Health Alert Hotline at 708-492-2185.

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