URBANA — Health officials say you should take precautions after mosquitoes with West Nile virus were found in Urbana, but "It would be the same precautions that we recommend every year," said Jeff Blackford, program coordinator for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.
The district reported Wednesday that a sample of mosquitoes collected in Urbana tested positive.
The virus has been found in mosquitoes or birds in 10 Illinois counties this year. No human cases have been reported.
In hot, dry weather, the virus will occur more frequently in mosquitoes and birds. The insects get the virus from biting infected birds, and spread it by biting other birds, Blackford said.
"Last year, we had a pool test positive about exactly the same date," he said.
The health district's recommendations:
— Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active: at dawn, dusk and in the early evening.
— Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts if the weather allows it.
— Use insect repellent. Be sure its active ingredients have been registered with the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/insect/choose.htm, and consult a doctor before using repellents on infants.
— Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens, and keep doors and windows closed, especially at night.
— Eliminate standing water — it's where mosquitoes breed. Empty water from bird baths, flower pots, wading pools, pet dishes and swimming pool covers at least once or twice a week. Remove old tires and other items that can collect water.
Most people infected with the virus show no symptoms. About one in five will contract West Nile fever, which can include fever, headache and body aches. Less than 1 percent will contract the most serious illnesses from the virus, which can include encephalitis and meningitis.