Peoria City/County Health Dept. testing for West Nile Virus

By Denise Jackson

June 6, 2014 Updated Jun 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Muggy, rainy weather like Central Illinois residents had earlier this week are prime conditions for mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus. But while it's still officially spring Peoria City/County health officials say it's never too soon to be prepared.

Peoria City/County Health Department Technician Jill Peterson is spending quite a bit of her work time outside setting traps for mosquitoes.

"I like to get spread out over the Peoria County area so we get different locations and we can get different results and see what they're like in different areas," she said.

This week, city and county health officials began their annual process for trapping and testing of mosquitoes for the West Nile Virus. Last year, Peoria County only saw one death from it.

Health officials say while they expect to see the virus, residents can take precautions like use repellents, wear long sleeve shirts and slacks and eliminate breeding grounds.

"Most of them they breed in the back yard, the tree hole that holds water, the bird bath, the five-gallon bucket you turn upside down that has that little lip on it. It only takes about a teacup of water to breed 1,000 mosquitoes," said Peoria City/County Health Department Director of Environmental Health Wil Hayes.

West Nile cases tend to happen in late July or August health officials say.

So far no human cases have been reported.