The village plans to spray the entire Fall On the Green festival area in response to the news that an Oak Lawn man is the first confirmed, human West Nile virus case in 2013. Spraying is expected to take place on Thursday.
The village’s annual end-of-summer celebration is scheduled
to take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“Oak Lawn requested and got approved the spraying of the entire Fall On the Green Festival area for mosquitoes starting [Thursday],” Village Manager Larry Deetjen said in an email. “[This] is in addition to the regular spraying which has been done periodically throughout the village prior to this event.”
The Cook County Department of Public Health announced on Wednesday that an Oak Lawn man in his 50s became infected with West Nile Virus last month. He was hospitalized, released and is recovering, according to a statement from the health department.
Over 200 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes throughout suburban Cook County, including Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park and Alsip. Five dead birds have also tested positive for the virus.
The county could not answer if the man was bitten locally in Oak Lawn or out of town.
“There have been West Nile virus-positive traps in Oak Lawn and a dead bird tested positive in Oak Lawn also,” said Amy Poore, spokeswoman for the Cook County Department of Public Health.
Several government agencies determine and report on control settings on mosquito traps in Oak Lawn and other communities to determine the presence of West Nile virus in local Culex mosquito populations, the type of mosquito that carries the disease.
Culex mosquitoes thrive in hot, dry weather conditions. Compared to this time last year, there were 58 reported cases of West Nile virus in Cook County and one death by mid-September, CBS2 News reported.
The village neither owns or directs, nor tests local mosquito traps, Deetjen said.
Determinations on spraying are made by the South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District.
“We are always aggressive in seeking spraying for large public events as well as in wooded and natural areas.” Deetjen said. “Fall On the Green spraying requested by the village was approved by [the South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District].”
The mosquito abatement district also will determine if more spraying needs to be done village-wide based based on the most recent data, the village manager said.
Residents should empty kiddie pools, bird baths, flower pots, pet bowls and other containers of standing water, which can become breeding grounds for West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes.
If you observe a dead bird near you, you are urged to report it to the CCDPH online or call 708-633-8025 immediately.