West Nile Virus Surveillance Overview

The Clinton County Health Department samples mosquito pools and collects dead birds to detect and monitor the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in Clinton County during the months of May through October.  If WNV is detected in mosquito or bird populations, the Health Department then works with local units of government and the media to inform and educate the public.

The Health Department collects mosquito samples using Gravid Traps (designed to attract and collect female mosquitoes) at seven locations throughout the county on a weekly schedule, weather permitting.  The majority of the mosquito sample sites are located within or near populated areas.  The mosquitoes are then tested using a RAMP West Nile Virus test, which is a quantitative immunochromatographic test.  Samples are prepared by homogenizing mosquitoes ,mixing with a buffer solution,  then applied into a test cartridge that the RAMP instrument reads for levels of West Nile virus.  Results are then reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Report Dead Birds

WNV surveillance also includes collecting and submitting dead birds to a laboratory for testing. Birds that are eligible for testing include crows, blue jays, sparrows, starlings, robins, grackles, finches, flycatchers, catbirds, swallows, cardinals, mocking birds, warblers, wrens, other perching birds and small hawks or owls. The birds must be freshly deceased with no signs of decomposition or apparent cause of death other than disease. From May through October, residents who live in Clinton County who observe an eligible bird should contact the Health Department immediately to determine if a bird is acceptable for testing, call 618-594-2723.  If the bird is not acceptable for testing, use gloves or an inverted plastic bag to place the carcass in a garbage bag, which can then be disposed of in your regular trash.


Vector Control

Vector control is any method to limit or eradicate the mammals, birds, insects or other arthropods which transmit disease pathogens. The most frequent type of vector control is mosquito control.  Non-mosquito vectors of human disease includes, but is not limited to ticks, fleas, rodents, nuisance birds and bats.  The Health Department assists with vector nuisance complaints and concerns.

If you observe or come into contact with a sick or injured animal, please contact Clinton County Animal Control at 618-594-4483 to have the animal collected and find out whether or not the animal should be submitted for rabies testing.  If you think you have been infected with rabies, immediately contact your primary care physician for treatment.



Illinois Department of Public Health, West Nile Virus

Illinois Department of Public Health, Vector Control and Surveillance

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile Virus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ticks

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Protect Yourself from Animal and Insect Related Hazards After a Disaster