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      Watch out for mosquitoes

      As the weather cools down and you enjoy the outdoors again, here is a reminder from the McDonough County Health Department about mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus.

      Click here for a complete press release.

      It wants to remind you to take precautions and protect yourself from West Nile.

      Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, from dusk to dawn.

      Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.

      Use insect repellent containing DEET, picardin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. (Consult a physician before using on infants and children.)

      Be sure your windows have tight-fitting screens to keep mosquitoes out.

      Finally, dump out any standing water that you see. It ends up being a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

      The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that in the 1999 New York area epidemic, there was a large die-off of American crows. Since then, West Nile virus has been identified in more than 200 species of birds found dead in the United States. Most of these birds were identified through reporting of dead birds by the public. If you find a dead bird you should also contact your local health department.

      Click here for a CDC chart of 2011 West Nile Virus Human Infections in the U.S.

      The McDonough County Health Department asks you to remember to "fight the bite!"

      How do you "fight the bite?" Share your comments below or take them to our Facebook page by clicking here.