As the population of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus continues to escalate throughout the Chicago area, the Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District on Wednesday night will begin a second round of aerial spraying to combat the pest.
Vehicles mounted with spraying devices will be out between 7:45 p.m. and midnight, weather permitting, in Brookfield and in Riverside west of First Avenue as well as LaGrange Park, LaGrange and parts of Hinsdale and Western Springs.
According to the Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District’s website, while the mosquito population is normal this summer, the percentage of mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus “has escalated very quickly” due to the hot and dry conditions the area has experienced this summer.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed 27 cases of West Nile Virus throughout Illinois, with 19 of those coming from Cook County. Another five cases, including one death from West Nile Virus, have been reported in DuPage County.
“There are likely many more suspect cases in the process of being confirmed,” according to the Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District website.
West Nile virus can cause inflammation of the brain in humans. Symptoms include fever, headaches and achy muscles. The elderly seem to be at risk of more severe effects from the virus, which can be fatal.
The mosquito abatement district urges people to be particularly careful to protect themselves from mosquitoes at dusk or dawn and to make sure window screens are in good repair and openings around window air conditioners are sealed to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside residences.