Despite Strong West Nile Virus Season, No Plans to Spray for Mosquitoes in Hinsdale
Village President Tom Cauley said the village's catch basins and public standing-water spots have been treated with larvicide.
The Village of Hinsdale has no plans to spray for mosquitoes in the final weeks of a West Nile Virus season that the CDC has said is on pace to be the worst since 1999.
Village President Tom Cauley dedicated his president's report at Tuesday night's Board of Trustees meeting to the topic of mosquito treatment, and said that the village's three mosquito traps have not yielded any positive West Nile Virus tests in the past two weeks. Therefore, Cauley said, there are no plans to spray for mosquitoes as is being done in nearby towns.
A press release from the DuPage County Health Department Tuesday said there is one new confirmed case of West Nile Virus in Hinsdale and one in nearby Westmont, bringing the number of total DuPage cases this year to 12. An Aug. 31 press release did not feature the Hinsdale and Westmont cases.
Cauley said catch basins and areas of standing water, wet spots where mosquitoes typically breed, have been treated throughout the summer with larvicide, which destroys eggs before they ever hatch.
Village manager Dave Cook said village officials were not aware of the Hinsdale West Nile case before Tuesday night's meeting, but said Wednesday morning in an email that the case has not changed the village's plans.
"This morning I conferred with DuPage County Health Department and their recommendation is to continue to [larvicide] as this is the most effective way to control the type of mosquito that causes west Nile," Cook's email reads. "In addition, the DCHD stated that the recent rains also will reduce the threat of West Nile as this type of mosquito prefers hot dry weather."
Catch basins and standing-water spots were treated last week, which means they'll be set until the end of September.
Cauley said spraying for mosquitoes is not as effective a preventative measure as treating with larvicide.
"Spraying only kills the adult mosquitoes in the air at the time of a spray," Cauley said, noting that the spray is subject to the wind and may not even reach the backyards of homes. "It has a very localized effect."
Cauley said spraying would only be done if Hinsdale traps begin showing positive West Nile tests or if it is determined that larvicide is not having an effect.
"At this point we are going to stick with the larvicide program that we have," Cauley said. "We’re not ruling out spraying as an alternative or as a supplement to what we’re doing with respect to the larvicide."
Last month, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention said summer of 2012 was on pace to become the worst West Nile Virus season since the disease was first detected in the U.S. about 13 years ago.
According to health officials, the virus can be prevented by:
- Using insect repellents when you go outdoors.
- Wearing long sleeves and pants from dusk to dawn.
- Installing or repairing screens on windows and door, and using air conditioning, if you have it.
- Emptying standing water from items outside your home such as flowerpots, buckets and kiddie pools.
Approximately one in five people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash, according to press release from the DuPage County Health Department.
Less than 1 percent will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues), officials said.
People over 50 years of age and those with certain medical conditions—such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and organ transplants—are at greater risk for serious illness, according to the release.
There are no medications to treat, or vaccines to prevent, West Nile virus infection. Individuals with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, but more severe cases often require hospitalization.