|August 13, 2003||West Nile
Virus Web site
GRANTS FOR MOSQUITO SURVEILLANCE ANNOUNCED
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health has awarded grants totaling $180,000 to 18 local health departments for surveillance of Culex mosquitoes, which are the primary carriers of the West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis viruses.
Local health departments will use the money to collect and test Culex mosquitoes. The mosquitoes will be collected with a type of trap that selectively samples gravid female house mosquitoes seeking a place to lay their eggs. Egg-bearing female mosquitoes have fed on blood, thus are the group most likely to be infected with West Nile virus. As mosquitoes descend to lay their eggs, they are swept into a suction apparatus and directed upward into the collection net.
Mosquitoes will be removed from the bag, identified and tested by local health department staff using a commercially available kit. This will allow local health departments to quickly obtain surveillance data that will help to guide them in informing the public about the risk of West Nile or St. Louis encephalitis virus transmission.
Half of the grant money comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the other half is from the state's general revenue funds. The grants are intended to encourage testing of Culex mosquitoes for West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis viruses in regions where there has been minimal testing. These grants were awarded primarily based on the geographical location of the county. However, factors such as the number of West Nile virus cases in 2002 also were considered.
Each recipient was awarded $10,000. Following is a list of grant recipients whose awards are federally funded:
Following is a list of grant recipients whose awards come from the state's general revenue fund:
Similar grants were awarded to 10 other local health departments earlier this year.
The Culex mosquito, also known as the northern house mosquito, is infected with West Nile or St. Louis encephalitis virus by feeding on infected birds.
West Nile and St. Louis viruses can cause serious disease, such as encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the brain. Symptoms of the diseases, which usually begin three to 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito, are similar and range from a slight fever or headache to rapid onset of severe headache, high fever, muscle aches, stiffness in the back of the neck and disorientation.
So far this year, 24 birds and 60 mosquito batches in Illinois have tested positive for West Nile. In 2002, West Nile virus was identified in 100 of the state's 102 counties. There were 884 human cases of West Nile virus illness last year and 66 deaths. A complete listing of West Nile virus cases is available on the Department's Web site at www.idph.state.il.us.
Although there has not been an outbreak of St. Louis encephalitis since 1975, there have been cases in Illinois over the years and the virus is still considered a health risk.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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