Mosquito Awareness

West Nile Virus

As you may have heard, in 2002, Illinois had 877 positive human cases and 62 deaths caused by the West Nile Virus. In July 2002, the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed the West Nile Virus was in Tazewell County. 

Not all individuals infected with the virus will have symptoms of an illness. Mild symptoms include headaches and fever, while more severe symptoms include encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), muscle weakness, high fever, convulsions, paralysis, coma, or death. The elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems are at greater risk for the West Nile Virus.


In order to prevent the West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, we need to eliminate all possible mosquito-breeding sites. The northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens) transmits the virus to humans after ingesting the virus from an infected bird. Any place where water is retained more than seven to ten days can be a possible breeding area for mosquitoes.

Areas FoundImportant Reminders
Tires off rims

Get rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, or any other water-holding containers.

Open containers

Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater.

Uncovered boat(s)

Store boats covered or upside down, or remove rainwater weekly.


Change the water in birdbaths, plant drip trays, and pet bowls at least once a week.

Swimming Pool(s)

Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use.

Pet bowl(s)

Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.

Plant drip trays

Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts, etc.) in the yard.

Ditch(es) or culvert(s)

Keep drains, ditches, and culverts free of weeds and trash so water will drain properly.

Roof Gutters

Keep roof gutters free of leaves and other debris.

Additional Information

If you have any questions about the West Nile Virus, call the Tazewell County Health Department at 309-929-0272 or 309-925-5511.