NORWOOD PARK — City crews will spray parts of Norwood Park, Portage Park and Dunning in an effort to kill mosquitoes that may be carrying the West Nile Virus, officials said.
A woman in her 70s who lives in the West Ridge neighborhood was diagnosed this week with the city's first case of West Nile virus, officials said. She is recovering at home, according to a statement.
"Even though this summer has been cooler than average, we all must take appropriate precautions," said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair.
Spraying is scheduled to begin at dusk and continue until approximately 1 a.m., with licensed mosquito abatement technicians in trucks dispensing an ultra-low-volume spray of Zenivex, a chemical approved by federal officials to control mosquitoes in residential areas.
While the spray is not harmful to people or pets, residents of the Dunning, Portage Park, Norwood Park, Oriole Park, Union Ridge and Big Oaks neighborhoods may choose to stay indoors and close their windows while spraying is underway as an extra precaution, city officials said.
Last year, 117 human cases were reported in Illinois with 11 deaths, according to state health officials.
City health officials recommend people concerned about contracting West Nile from mosquitoes:
• Use insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus;
• Eliminate standing water near their home. This includes emptying water from flowerpots, gutters, pool covers, pet water dishes and birdbaths regularly;
• Keep grass and weeds short to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes;
• When outside between dusk and dawn, wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, socks and shoes;
• Check that all screens, windows and doors are tight-fitting and free of holes and tears;
• Check on neighbors regularly who may need additional assistance, including the elderly.
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