Public Health Agency of Canada / Agence de santé public du Canada
 
Public Health Agency of Canada

 

 


West Nile Virus and other Mosquito Diseases

:  Bird testing is a key surveillance tool for West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus was first discovered in the United States in the fall of 1999.  It quickly spread across the US and today has been found in all of the lower 48 states, much of Canada, and south into Mexico and Central America.  West Nile Virus was first detected in Illinois in the fall of 2001 and in 2002 caused the largest mosquito borne Encephalitis outbreak in the states history, with 884 human cases.  Since this initial outbreak West Nile has not gone away. 

Centers for Disease Control cases counts for West Nile Virus:

Year  Illinois Human Cases      Total Cases in US
     
2000 Not present 21 
2001 66
2002 884 4156
2003 54  9862
2004 60 2539
2005 252 3000
2006 215 4052

2007

101

3630

2008

20

1356

2009

5

720

2010

61

981

2011

34

712

2012

282

5387

2013

116

2374

2014

40

2085

2015

67

1732

2016

136

2038


Mosquitoes are responsible for many different diseases, mostly tropical, some of which occur in Illinois.  LaCrosse Encephalitis and St. Louis Encephalitis have historically caused human sickness in Illinois.  Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis are also present in the United States but are not yet important in Illinois.  However, in 2010 a horse was euthanatized from within the district with a probable case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis.  Other diseases such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Yellow Fever are found in the US mainly by people traveling to the tropics.  However, Illinois was once known as an area where Yellow Fever and Malaria were common.  Draining swamps, mosquito control, and advances in modern medicine have delegated these diseases to mainly third world areas.

Bird Flu and HIV cannot be spread by mosquitoes.

You are most likely to get West Nile late in the Summer.  This is when the mosquitoes that spread the disease are most common.  Even if mosquito populations are low and you are not being bitten at night you should still use insect repellent. 


   
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