Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



West Nile activity yet to be documented this year in historical hot spot

Friday, July 08, 2016
Chicago Tribune
by Zak Koeske

In 2002, during the largest mosquito-borne encephalitis outbreak in state history, Oak Lawn and Evergreen Park accounted for 52 human cases of West Nile virus and three deaths — a rate of infection more than six times greater than the rest of the county.

Last year, the first West Nile-positive mosquito batches in all of northern Illinois were collected in Oak Lawn on May 21 and Evergreen Park on May 26.

Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton has even contracted the virus.

So it's come as a surprise to experts that, as of Friday, the South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District, which handles mosquito control for the 340-square-mile swath of Cook County south of 87th Street, had yet to collect a single mosquito carrying West Nile.

"I was kind of looking to see some West Nile activity right now," said Douglas Wright, who has served as general manager of the district for the past decade. "We've run (more than 90) tests so far and all have been negative."

Wright, who said he could not remember a time this late in the year that his mosquito traps hadn't picked up a single insect infected with the virus, was at a loss to explain the phenomenon.

He and representatives from the Northwest and Des Plaines Valley mosquito abatement districts, which also have had lower-than-normal West Nile activity, invoked weather patterns as a possible explanation for the paucity of infected mosquitoes in the area.

The cool, wet spring, they surmised, may have delayed the development of West Nile-carrying Culex mosquitoes, which prefer hot, dry weather. Why the recent spate of dry 90-degree days hadn't since jump-started the mosquitoes, however, remains a mystery.

"It's kind of hard to tell why," Wright said. "To be honest with you, with the temperatures the way they were, I expected to see more positive mosquito batches."

Linn Haramis, an entomologist with the Illinois Department of Public Health, said multiple factors, including weather, topography and the quality of a mosquito abatement agency, can affect West Nile's impact on a community.

Wooded suburban communities like Oak Lawn and Evergreen Park, where virus-carrying birds come in contact with the virus-spreading mosquitoes in cemeteries and on golf courses, and where underground pipes and culverts offer the infected insects haven during the winter months, are typically considered prime locations for potential West Nile outbreaks, Haramis said.

It's difficult to say why, in spite of communities with those risk factors, Wright's district had yet to find a West Nile-carrying mosquito this year, he said.

"It would be something you'd have to look at in detail," said Haramis, noting that it's not uncommon to see an uneven distribution of West Nile cases for reasons that aren't immediately obvious. "It's essentially a research project."

State and county health officials warned that just because West Nile-positive mosquitoes had not been identified in south Cook County to date this year, it did not mean they weren't out there or that area residents could afford to drop their guard expecting a down season for the virus.

"Now is the time to use (insect repellent) because we're entering the more risky part of the summer where the infection rate of mosquitoes tends to blow up and the risk to humans becomes greater," Haramis said, citing a past situation in Lake County where the mosquito infection rate exploded in a matter of weeks, jumping from no sampled mosquitoes in early July to 35 percent by August.

"That's what's dangerous about West Nile when the conditions are right," he said. "We've still got plenty of time if we hit a hot, dry period. You could just have the activity blow up really, really quickly."

Currently, about 2 percent of the mosquito samples tested this year by Cook County's four mosquito abatement districts have come back positive for West Nile.

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District, which is responsible for mosquito control in north Cook County, has accounted for the vast majority of the county's West Nile-positive mosquitoes and about half of the entire state's positive mosquitoes so far this year, according to district statistics. Fourteen of the area's 20 positive batches were collected in Skokie, Winnetka and Glenview/Golf, district communications manager Dave Zazra said.

Fifteen counties statewide have reported at least one case of West Nile infection in a mosquito, bird or human this year.

The only two human cases this year have involved an adolescent in west central Illinois and another person in Grundy County, Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said.

zkoeske@tribpub.com



Recent Headlines

Daily COVID-19 cases dip under 1,000, but officials warn it could take 2 weeks to see if protests prompt uptick (LIVE UPDATES)
Thursday, June 04, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County state’s attorney’s office says it will review allegations that Chicago cops pulled woman from car by her hair and placed knee on her neck
Thursday, June 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Report: 1 in 6 Chicago COVID-19 Cases Can Be Tied to Cook County Jail
Thursday, June 04, 2020
WTTW News

‘COVID-19 Adjustment’ may lessen Cook County property taxes in light of pandemic
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
JD Supra

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

More positive results for antiviral drug remdesivir in battle against COVID-19
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Live Updates: Looting Causes Food Shortages; Security Firms See Spike In Demand
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
WBEZ

So many were killed by gunfire in Chicago Sunday, the medical examiner brought in extra pathologists for the autopsies
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Social distancing measures remain in place at county jail
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Protests and peace: Pritzker, Preckwinkle, Cupich call for ‘peaceful action’ to stem ‘contagion’ of racism
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

With Dozens Being Shot Every Day, Anti-Violence Groups Continue Working Amid Looting And COVID-19
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
WBEZ News

Judge tells Cicero no more surprise visits at nursing home where more than a dozen died from coronavirus
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

George Floyd fallout: Gov. J.B. Pritzker deploys National Guard to suburbs, access to downtown Chicago remains restricted
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Circuit Court Clerk introduces electronic options for court information in non-criminal matters
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County sends officers, intel to aid suburban police: ‘We have been called everywhere’
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
The Daily Line

Pritzker, Preckwinkle, faith leaders look ahead to rebuilding
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

26th employee contracts COVID-19 at Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s office
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Senior citizens in subsidized housing have been dying alone at home, unnoticed because of coronavirus distancing
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Disaster Proclamation Issued For Cook County As Chicago Faces Looting, Vandalism
Monday, June 01, 2020
Blockclub Chicago

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: Carry on peaceful protests, but looters and arsonists will go to jail
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP