Press Release

April 3, 2007

Gov. Blagojevich announces $2.5 million in grants to combat West Nile virus

 87 local health departments receive grants to enhance West Nile virus prevention programs  

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today $2.5 million in grants to local health departments for surveillance and control efforts of mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus or other mosquito-borne diseases. In 2006, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) received reports of 215 human cases of West Nile virus in Illinois and ten deaths due to West Nile virus related illness.

“Temperatures are beginning to warm up and that means we’ll soon start to see more mosquitoes. These funds will allow local health departments to take action now in order to help reduce the risk of West Nile virus related illnesses and deaths in Illinois,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Illinois Department of Public Health Director.

Funding for the grants comes from a special 50-cent fee on new tires. The fee was put into place in 2003 to create a public health emergency fund to help pay for human, mosquito and bird surveillance for mosquito-borne disease.

Eighty-seven local health departments in areas of the state that documented West Nile virus activity last year, will receive West Nile virus prevention grants this year for surveillance, testing of birds and mosquitoes, training, mosquito larviciding and public information.

“Local health departments are receiving this funding before the mosquito season hits so they have time to make needed arrangements with local municipalities and mosquito control contractors,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Eric E. Whitaker. “If we can take steps early to control the mosquito population in Illinois, we can reduce the risk of West Nile virus through the state.”

The primary responsibility for local health departments concerning West Nile virus is surveillance because it must be conducted statewide. Mosquito control is a secondary objective for local health departments and some assist municipal mosquito control programs. Historically, municipalities conduct mosquito control operations. In preparation for the upcoming season, local municipalities and mosquito abatement districts need to plan and budget for adequate mosquito control measures.

West Nile virus activity has occurred in Illinois throughout the summers of 2001 through 2006. During 2002, Illinois led the nation with more than 800 human cases and more than 60 deaths. After the cool summers of 2003 and 2004, West Nile virus activity in Illinois resurged during the hot summers of 2005 and 2006. How active West Nile virus is during 2007 may be dependent on summer temperatures. Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Department of Public Health’s Web site at

Grants were awarded to the following local health departments for April 1, 2007 through March 31, 2008:

Local Health Department

Award Amount

Adams County


Bond County


Boone County


Brown County


Bureau County


Carroll County


Cass County


Champaign County


Champaign-Urbana Public Health District


Chicago Department of Public Health


Christian County


Clark County


Clay County


Clinton County


Coles County


Cook County


Crawford County


Cumberland County


De Kalb County


Dewitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department


Douglas County


Du Page County


Eastside Public Health District


Edgar County


Effingham County


Egyptian Health Department


Fayette County


Ford-Iroquois Bi-County Health Department


Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department


Fulton County


Greene County


Grundy County


Hancock County


Henderson County


Henry County


Jackson County


Jasper County


Jefferson County


Jersey County


Jo Daviess County


Kane County


Kankakee County


Kendall County


Knox County


Lake County


La Salle County


Lawrence County


Lee County


Livingston County


Logan County


Macon County


Macoupin County


Madison County


Marion County


Marshall County


Mason County


Mc Donough County


Mc Henry County


Mclean County


Menard County


Mercer County


Monroe-Randolph Bi-County Health Department


Montgomery County


Morgan County


Moultrie County


Ogle County


Peoria City/County


Perry County


Pike County


Putnam County


Rock Island County


Sangamon County


Schuyler County


Scott County


Shelby County


Southern Seven


St Clair County


Stephenson County


Tazewell County


Vermilion County


Wabash County


Washington County


Wayne County


Whiteside County


Will County


Winnebago County


Woodford County


Total Award


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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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