|May 28, 2004|
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES MOSQUITO CONTROL
SPRINGFIELD, Ill -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the state will spend $105,000 on the emergency purchase of larvicide to help control mosquitoes in the Chicago suburbs that recently experienced severe flooding along the Des Plaines River.
After heavy flooding, typically huge numbers of biting mosquitoes are produced and can be disruptive to flood cleanup activities and other community functions, the Governor said. We need to provide whatever assistance possible so communities can quickly and safely recover from the flood.
The larvicide will be bought by the state and provided to local health departments and municipalities in Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties.
Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, said these floodwater mosquitoes generally are not disease carriers, but can be an extreme nuisance and are expected to hatch two to three weeks after the flooding ends. As the floodwaters recede, he explained, evaporation and drainage will create smaller pools of stagnant water where the mosquitoes like to breed.
The larvicide, which is spread in either a granular or briquette form, destroys mosquito larvae in the water pools.
The mosquitoes can fly up to 20 miles from where they emerge, particularly along prevailing winds, and are attracted to people by carbon dioxide and perspiration. They have a peak biting time of just after sunset and again just before dawn, but will feed anytime in or near wooded areas if disturbed.
In the coming weeks, the pools of water left by the flood also may give rise to large numbers of the northern house mosquito, which are the primary carrier of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. These mosquitoes normally begin to spread disease in the state in mid-to-late July and early August. Last year, Illinois recorded 54 cases of West Nile disease and one death and, in 2002, led the nation with 884 cases and 66 deaths.
The emergency larvicide help is in addition to $2.3 million in grants Blagojevich recently awarded to local health departments throughout the state to assist with the detection and control of West Nile virus. Most of that funding came from a special 50-cent fee increase on new tires enacted last year to create a public health emergency fund.
The states surveillance for West Nile virus began May 1 and, so far, West Nile positive birds have been identified in three counties Adams, Champaign and DuPage. DuPage County also has detected two pools of mosquitoes with West Nile virus.
Dr. Whitaker said people can protect themselves from mosquitoes by:
Dr. Whitaker also stressed the importance of eliminating mosquito-breeding places. He suggested:
of Public Health
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