“Each year since 2002 when we saw the first human cases of West Nile virus in Illinois, we’ve seen the virus circulate across the state,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D. J.D. “Now, for the second summer, we’re monitoring for Zika virus in Illinois. While Zika is also primarily transmitted through the bite of a mosquito, the main type of mosquito that carries Zika virus is rarely found in Illinois. However, taking some simple precautions can help you avoid mosquito bites, regardless of the type of mosquito or the diseases they carry.”
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected Culex pipiens, “house” mosquito. Mild cases of West Nile virus infections may cause a slight fever or headache. More severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of a high fever with head and body aches, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and, in the most severe cases, paralysis or death. Symptoms usually occur from three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile Virus.
Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito, a mosquito that rarely has been found in Illinois. Unlike West Nile virus, Zika virus can be passed from person to person through sex, so it’s important to wear a condom if you or your partner may have been exposed to Zika. Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will have only mild symptoms and might not realize they have been infected. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes), and typically last several days to a week. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Since December 2015, 116 cases of Zika virus have been reported in Illinois; 115 cases are travel-related and one case occurred through sex with someone who traveled to an area with Zika virus. More information about Zika virus can be found on the IDPH website.
Predicting how bad the mosquito season will be is like predicting the weather - it can change week to week. The key factors in determining high or low levels of mosquito activity are temperature and rainfall. Although people usually notice mosquitoes during rainy conditions, those mosquitoes are commonly called floodwater or nuisance mosquitoes (Aedes vexans) and typically do not carry disease. In hot, dry weather, mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus breed in stagnant water, like street catch basins and ditches, and multiply rapidly. Similarly, the type of mosquito that carries Zika virus also breeds in stagnant water like empty flower pots, tires, and any container that holds water that is not changed weekly. There are two other types of mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus and Aedes triseriatus) found in Illinois that can also carry disease and breed in water-collecting containers.
Here are some simple precautions you can take to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and protect yourself from being bitten. Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report.
• REDUCE - make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut.
Eliminate, or refresh each week, all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and any other containers.
• REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
• REPORT – report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito eggs.
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the IDPH website.
Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system in humans and other mammals. A person may contract rabies through a bite, scratch, or saliva from an infected animal. A bat bite or scratch may not be seen or even felt by the injured person due to the small size of its teeth and claws. A potential rabies exposure should never be taken lightly. If untreated, rabies is fatal.
“If you find yourself in close proximity to a bat, dead or alive, do not touch, hit or destroy it and do not try and remove it from your home,” said CCDPH Chief Operating Officer Terry Mason, MD, FACS. “Call your local animal control office to collect the bat and call your healthcare provider or local public health department immediately to report the exposure and determine if preventive treatment is needed. If the bat is available for testing and test results are negative, preventive treatment is not needed.”
Animals do not have to be aggressive or behaving erratically to have rabies. Changes in any animal’s normal behavior can be early signs of rabies. Bats that are on the ground, unable to fly, or active during the day are more likely than others to be rabid. Such bats are often easily approached but should never be handled.
Recommendations to help prevent the spread of rabies:
Keep vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats, ferrets and other animals you own. To find low cost Cook County Animal Control clinics, visit: https://www.cookcountyil.gov/agency/animal-and-rabies-control-0
For more information about rabies, visit: http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbrabies.htm.
Stickney Health District, in collabortation with Little Company of Mary Hospital, will offera diabestes support program held on the second Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The program will run from April through October. The one hour program will be held at Stickney Public Health District South Clinic, 5635 State Road, Burbank, Il. The program is freee of change and open to Stickney Townshiop adults. Space is limited to 25 attendees. To register and for more information call 708 424-9200, ext. 2137.
Featured activities included a tee-shirt give away, blood pressure screenings for adults, an appearance by the Central Stickney Fire Protection District and the Sahs School mascot, Eddie The Eagle. Township officials and staff, including President Louis S. Viverito, were joined by Sahs Principal Jennifer Toschi, teachers and school staff in greeting students and their families.
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI). 50% of men and 80% of women infected with Chlamydia may have no symptoms. Even when Chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. The only way to know for sure if you have an STI is to get yourself tested. A simple urine test is an accurate way to determine if an STI is present.
Chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. Medication for Chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner(s) have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all of the doses before having sex.
It is very important for individuals diagnosed with Chlamydia or any STI to inform their sex partners of their potential exposure. Re-infection will reoccur if sex partners are not treated for the infection. Since informing partners can be difficult, the Health Department has specially trained staff members who can help notify partners anonymously. Repeat infection with Chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner(s) was treated.
To decrease the risk of Chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections:
Individuals wanting Chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infection information or screening, may contact their primary care provider. The Stickney Public Health Department also offers information on testing sites. If you need further information, please contact Stickney Public Health District at 708-424-9200 and ask to speak with the Public Health Nursing Department.
To learn more about Chlamydia and the risk behaviors for the infection, visit CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/std
The Little Company of Mary Health Education Center offers Wake Up Call Screenings one Saturday each month from 7:30 am-noon. This one hour comprehensive screening for stroke and heart attack could save your life! Includes CBC, chemistry panel, cholesterol panel, thyroid level, liver enzymes and more. Ultrasound of the abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, peripheral vascular screening, heart rhythm screening for atrial fibrillation. NEW this year!!! Screening for metabolic syndrome. Includes personalized visit with the wellness nurse educator. Fee $155 (value $4,000). By appointment only. Payment required at time of registration. First appointment at 7:30 am. To register and for more information call 708 423-5774.
Since 1946, the Stickney Public Health District has provided community-based public health services to the residents of Stickney Township. Our service area includes the City of Burbank, the Villages of Stickney and Forest View, unincorporated areas of Central Stickney and Nottingham Park, and parts of the Village of Bridgeview (east of Harlem Avenue). We are focused on making Stickney Township a healthy place to live and work.
Aligned with our mission, the Stickney Public Health District has goals to promote physical activity and healthy eating; reduce obesity; and decrease the level of untreated high blood pressure in our community. We work together with many partners --- community-based organizations, schools, senior homes to name a few – to develop and implement programs and initiatives that make healthy living easier for our residents.Visit the Cook County Public Health website for more information concerning the Healthy Hotspot program.
The Cook County Department of Public Health is asking suburban Cook County adults, ages 18 years and older, for information about conditions in our communities that support health. Conditions that support health include: affordable housing, health services, job opportunities, good schools, public transportation, recreation, community safety, and more.
Answering a few questions can help the health department and our partners improve your community's health. The survey takes about 15 minutes and is available in English and Spanish.
Are you bi-lingual? Interested in helping others? Find out how you can volunteer to bridge the language barrier for those seeking public services. More on the Language Volunteer Program...