UPDATED 07/26/11 9:25 a.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) – Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have now been found in Evanston.
The insects were collected by the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District a week ago Monday, and were the first in Evanston to test positive for West Nile this year, the Evanston Health Department said.
Public health officials believe the hot summer could increase mosquito activity and the risk of disease from the West Nile virus.
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The department advises residents to get rid of any stagnant water around their home to reduce the number of mosquitoes; and to wear insect repellent.
The mosquito abatement district will be spraying for mosquitoes in portions of Evanston, Kenilworth, Wilmette and Winnetka between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 2 a.m. Wednesday, weather permitting.
The district began testing for West Nile on May 1, by examining mosquitoes, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as sick horses and humans with West Nile symptoms.
Anyone who sees a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other bird in Evanston should contact the Evanston Health Department at (847) 866-2947 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Nile mosquitoes have already been seen in several other suburbs. In Evergreen Park, Glenview, Norridge and Oak Lawn, some of the Culex mosquitoes discovered at 28 sites tested positive for West Nile.
Mosquitoes carrying West Nile were also detected in Skokie last week.
Earlier this month, Cook County Department of Public Health chief executive officer Stephen Martin said you can take a bite out of the biters by knowing a few things.
He said mosquitoes only need about a thimbleful of water to breed, so homeowners should “get rid of the standing water, cut the grass.”