Mosquitoes

Mosquitos which tested positive for West Nile Virus were found recently near the Whiteside County Fairgrounds in Morrison.

The virus was first detected in the county in July, and it’s also been found in Carroll and Ogle Counties.  Whiteside County Health Department Public Health Administrator Beth Fiorini said the last cases usually show up in late August, making this a highly unusual case.

“It’s been a really, really dry season," she said. "I don’t know if that’s why. We haven’t had rain in Whiteside County for weeks.”

JJ Harrison / CC BY -SA 3.0

Mosquitoes have been plentiful -- and voracious -- this summer, thanks to heavy rains that have created perfect breeding habitats for the blood-suckers. Now researchers at the University of Illinois may have found a way to reduce future mosquito populations with the help of some native Midwestern plants.

The first case of West Nile virus in DeKalb County has been reported to the county health department.  A 59-year-old male county resident was diagnosed recently, a department spokesperson said.

“This is not unexpected,” said Jane Lux, Public Health Administrator at the DeKalb County Health Department, “due to the fact that there have been cases diagnosed throughout Illinois and the United States, and we know that mosquitoes in our area are infected.”