More Than 20 Macon County Mosquito Batches Test Positive for West Nile
By Jeff Bossert
Health officials in Macon County say 23 mosquito batches have tested positive for West Nile Virus the last two weeks.
County Health Department Director of Clinical Nursing, Carol Carlton, said that figure is pretty high, given that 149 batches have tested positive statewide.
There have been no human cases of the disease in Illinois in 2013.
Linn Haramis is an entomologist with the State Department of Public Health. He admits the testing levels in Macon County are large, and odd for a milder summer.
“Macon County has been tracking roughly the same as last year, which is kind of unusual," he said. "Overall, the number of counties we have this year – reported positive samples – is about the same as last year. A very high activity year for Illinois.”
Hermais noted that there have not been nearly as many positive mosquito and bird samples statewide this year, but he said the West Nile season is picking up with hotter weather a couple weeks ago.
Carlton said the testing for West Nile has been pretty widespread in Macon County.
Her department is putting out warnings with the annual Decatur Celebration scheduled this weekend.
Carlton encourages residents to rid of any standing water, and to use insect repellent when outdoors.