Bureau County Health Department Announces 2014 Flu Clinics for Adults

September 10th, 2014

The Bureau County Health Department will begin offering flu vaccinations starting September 22. We are pleased to announce that we will be accepting private insurance for adults and children & Medicare Part B will be accepted as well. Medicaid is only accepted for children 18 and under. Please bring the appropriate card (private insurance, Medicare Part B or Medicaid card) to the clinic of your choice.

Flu shots will be $30.00 except for children 6 months thru 18 years who qualify for VFC vaccine but do NOT have a Medicaid card. The fee for those children (6 mo - 18 yrs) is $12.00.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) everyone age 6 months or older should get a flu shot. Following the "three C's" (cover your cough, contain the spread of disease by staying home if you are sick, and control the disease by washing your hands) will also help keep your family healthy during flu season.

On average 5-20% of Americans catch the flu every year, with more than 200,000 being hospitalized (including 20,000 children ) and 36,000 dying from flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is getting a flu shot every year.

The following clinics are for ADULTS 19 YRS AND OLDER. Please call the PC Health Dept FOR CHILDREN'S FLU SHOT APPOINTMENTS at 815-925-7326. Parents may also receive their flu shots at their child's appointment.

  • Monday September 22nd, 10:00am - 12:00pm at Bureau County Senior Center
  • Wednesday September 24th, 8:30am - 10:00pm at Walnut Senior Center
  • Wednesday September 24th, 10:30am - 11:30am at Manlius Trinity Church
  • Wednesday September 24th, 1:00pm - 2:00pm at Wyanet VFW
  • Wednesday September 24th, 2:30am - 3:30pm at Tiskilwa St Mary's Church Hall
  • Monday September 29th, 8:30am - 9:30am at Ohio Methodist Church Building
  • Monday September 29th, 10:00am - 11:30am at LaMoille Library
  • Monday September 29th, 1:00pm - 2:00pm at Ladd Moose Lodge
  • Monday September 29th, 2:30pm - 3:30pm at Hall Township Food Pantry- Spring Valley
  • Wednesday October 1st, 8:00am - 9:00am at Neponset Community Center
  • Wednesday October 1st, 10:00am - 11:00am at Sheffield UCC
  • Wednesday October 1st, 12:30pm - 1:30pm at Buda Community Center
  • Wednesday October 1st, 3:00pm - 6:00pm at Princeton Moose Lodge
  • Tuesday October 14th, 4:00pm - 6:00pm at Malden Grade School

Note: No appointments are necessary for the clinics listed. Additional clinic times may be set at a later date.

Putnam County Health Department Announces 2014 Flu Clinics for Adults

September 10th, 2014

The Putnam County Health Department will begin offering flu vaccinations on Tuesday, October 9th. We are happy to announce that we are now able to accept private insurance for flu vaccinations. Medicare Part B, cash and checks will also be accepted. Please bring a current insurance card or Medicare Part B card with you. Flu shots for adults are $30.00 (Medicaid is not accepted for adult flu vaccines.)

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) everyone age 6 months or older should get a flu shot. Following the "three C's" (cover your cough, contain the spread of disease by staying home if you are sick, and control the disease by washing your hands) will also help keep your family healthy during flu season.

On average 5-20% of Americans catch the flu every year, with more than 200,000 being hospitalized (including 20,000 children ) and 36,000 dying from flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is getting a flu shot every year.

The following clinics are for ADULTS 19 YRS AND OLDER. Please call the PC Health Dept FOR CHILDREN'S FLU SHOT APPOINTMENTS at 815-925-7326. Parents may also receive their flu shots at their child's appointment.

  • Thursday October 9th, 9:00am - 11:00am at Senior Center/Standard
  • Tuesday October 14th, 3:00pm - 5:00pm at St. Patrick Church Hall/Hennepin
  • Thursday October 16th, 10:00-11:30 at Sacred Heart Church Hall/Granville

Note: No appointments are necessary for the clinics listed.

Protect Yourself From Tick Bites

May 6th, 2013

Ticks are out now and they are hungry. In Illinois, adult ticks are most active in April, May and June. Ticks wait for a host from the tips of grasses and shrubs (not from trees). When brushed by a moving animal or person, they quickly let go of the vegetation and climb onto the host. Ticks can only crawl; they cannot fly or jump. Ticks are among the most efficient carriers of disease because they attach firmly when sucking blood, feed slowly and may go unnoticed for a considerable time while feeding.

How do I Prevent Tick Bites?

The best way to protect yourself against tickborne illness is to avoid tick bites. This includes avoiding known tick- infested areas. However, if you live in or visit wooded areas or areas with tall grass and weeds, follow these precautions to help prevent tick bites and decrease the risk of disease:

  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots or sturdy shoes and a head covering. (Ticks are easier to detect on light-colored clothing.) Tuck trouser cuffs in socks. Tape the area where pants and socks meet so ticks cannot crawl under clothing.
  • Apply insect repellent containing 10 percent to 30 percent DEET primarily to clothes. Apply sparingly to exposed skin. Do not spray directly to the face; spray the repellent onto hands and then apply to face. Avoid sensitive areas like the eyes, mouth and nasal membranes. Be sure to wash treated skin after coming indoors. Always follow label directions; do not misuse or overuse repellents. Always supervise children in the use of repellents.
  • Walk in the center of trails so weeds do not brush against you. In camping areas, individuals who sit on the ground or disturb leaf litter on the forest floor may encounter ticks.
  • Check yourself, children and other family members every two to three hours for ticks. Most ticks seldom attach quickly and rarely transmit disease organisms until they have been attached four or more hours. If your pets spend time outdoors, check them for ticks, too.

What is the best way to remove a tick?

  • If ticks are crawling on the outside of clothes, they can be removed with masking tape or cellophane tape. A ring of tape can be made around the hand by leaving the sticky side out and attaching the two ends. Ticks will stick to the tape which can then be folded over and then placed in the trash.
  • Remove any tick promptly. The mouthparts of a tick are barbed and may remain embedded and lead to infection at the bite site if not removed promptly. Do not burn the tick with a match or cover it with petroleum jelly or nail polish. Do not use bare hands to remove the tick because tick secretions may carry disease. The best way to remove a tick is to grasp it firmly with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and gently, but firmly, pull it straight out. Do not twist or jerk the tick. If tweezers are not available, grasp the tick with a piece of tissue or cloth or whatever can be used as a barrier between your fingers and the tick. Ticks can be safely disposed of by placing them in a container of soapy water or alcohol, sticking them to tape or flushing them down the toilet.
  • Wash the bite area and your hands thoroughly with soap and water and apply an antiseptic to the bite site.
  • If you have an unexplained illness with fever, contact a physician. Be sure to tell the physician if you have been outdoors in areas where ticks were present or traveled to areas where tickborne diseases are common.

How do control ticks around my home?

Make sure the property around your home is unattractive to ticks. Because ticks are sensitive to dry conditions and do not thrive in short vegetation, they are seldom a problem in well-maintained lawns. Keep your grass mowed and keep weeds cut. Clean up items that attract rodents which can carry ticks, such as spilled birdseed, and hiding places like old wood piles. If ticks are present in vegetation along the edge of the property, insecticides labeled for control of ticks can be applied to small areas of high weeds that cannot be mowed. Often, one or two applications per season will be adequate to control ticks in these areas.

Free-roaming dogs and cats are much more likely to encounter ticks than those that are confined to the home or yard. If ticks are found on pets, contact your veterinarian for information about an appropriate tick treatment.

When to Contact a Physician after a Tick Bite

If you experience a rash that looks like a bull's-eye, or a rash anywhere on the body or an unexplained illness accompanied by fever following a tick bite, you should consult your physician and explain that you were bitten by a tick. Disease carried by ticks can be treated with antibiotics. However, the type of antibiotic can vary and individuals should be treated early in the infection. For more information about symptoms and treatment of tickborne diseases visit our website at, and like us on Facebook at

More information

State of Illinois - Prevention and Control of Common Ticks
US Center for Disease Control - Ticks

State Health Department Confirms H3N2v Influenza Case

Common Flu Precautions Recommended

August 13th, 2012

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) laboratory has confirmed one case of what is known as the H3N2v influenza virus, which has now been reported in four states this year – Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. IDPH is working with local, state and federal health officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Coles County Health Department, to identify how a child, who attended the Coles County Fair, contracted the virus last week. This child has not been hospitalized. CDC is conducting additional laboratory testing.

H3N2v is a variant form of influenza A, which was first detected in 2011. The CDC is currently reporting more than a dozen cases in the U.S. this year, but CDC will update its numbers later today and they are expected rise dramatically. Most infections have occurred following contact with swine, and cases of the virus being transmitted from person to person are rare. So far, the severity of illnesses associated with this virus in people has been similar to the severity of illnesses associated with seasonal flu virus infections.

"The H3N2v virus is relatively new, but the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and our federal partners are monitoring this situation closely," said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. "We want you to enjoy your time at the state or county fair, so one key thing to do to stay healthy is to wash your hands frequently, especially if you are around swine."

The state health department and the state agriculture department have increased hand washing stations on the fair grounds and provided guidance and prevention recommendations to fair exhibitors, local health departments and health care providers. The department of agriculture looks at every animal at the state fair grounds and a veterinarian is on site.

Tips to avoid influenza include:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water before and after exposure to animals.
  • Do not eat, drink or put anything in your mouth while visiting animal areas.
  • Do not take food or drinks into animal areas.
  • Avoid close contact with animals that look or act ill.
  • Use caution when deciding to visit an animal area if you have an underlying health condition.

Influenza is contracted through droplets when an infected person or animal coughs or sneezes. Those droplets can either be inhaled or can be on a surface you touch with your hand, and then touch your mouth or nose.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache and fatigue. Illness can last a week or two. Certain people have a higher risk of serious infection from influenza including the very young, elderly, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems and those with asthma, diabetes and heart disease. If you have, or do come into contact with swine and are experiencing flu symptoms, contact your health care provider.

Local Case of Pertussis Positively Confirmed

May 24, 2012

The Health Department can confirm that there has been a positive case of Pertussis in a Bureau County school. We have been working closely with the school, medical providers and the Illinois Department of Public Health on this. At this time, it is not know if there are any additional cases.

Pertussis is commonly known as whopping cough is highly infectious and usually mild illness that is easily transmitted through coughing and sneezing and may last for several months. Symptoms of Pertussis are similar to a common cold – runny nose, sneezing low grade fever and a cough that gradually becomes severe with a characteristic high-pitched “whoop”. Since the summer of 2011, over 2,000 Illinois residents have been reported with Pertussis; over 50% were between the ages of 5 and 7 years old.

The school has notified all of the parents of children that attend with instructions on what to do if their child has symptoms or has been exposed. If you believe you or your child has been exposed, please contact your medical provider. The CDC guidelines now recommend that all children receive a booster at age 11 and that all adults have a booster shot for Pertussis (Tdap). In addition, frequent hand washing and respiratory hygiene (cover your cough, coughing into tissues, disposing of tissues promptly) are important practices that help to limit the spread of infection.

Pertussis Information From the Illinois Department of Public Health

What is pertussis?

Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is caused by a bacterium (germ), Bordetella pertussis, that lives in the mouth, nose and throat. The germ is highly contagious and is easily spread from person-to-person.

How is pertussis spread?

The bacteria are shed in discharges from the nose and throat and spread to others through coughing and sneezing. An infected person is contagious from just before onset of symptoms until up to three weeks after symptoms start. Treatment with appropriate antibiotics shortens the contagious period to about five days.

Who is susceptible to contracting pertussis?

Despite the effectiveness of vaccination, pertussis continues to occur in the United States among all age groups. Anyone who has not had pertussis previously or who has not received the pertussis vaccine can get the disease. Immunity following disease or vaccination is not lifelong. Older children, adolescents and adults can become susceptible to pertussis five-to 10-years after their last dose of pertussis-containing vaccine. Older children and adults can carry the germ and spread it even though their cold-like symptoms may be so mild they might not seek medical care.

Since 2000, about a quarter of the cases reported have occurred in children younger than 1 year of age and this group has the highest rates for complications and death. Older children and adolescents have accounted for more than half the reported cases, and adults 20 years of age and older comprise the remaining 25 percent of reported cases.

What are the symptoms of pertussis?

Symptoms usually appear five-to 10-days after exposure, but can take as long as 21 days. The first symptoms are similar to those of a common cold - a runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever and a mild, occasional cough. The cough gradually becomes severe and, after one to two weeks, the patient has spasmodic bursts of numerous, rapid coughs. The characteristic high-pitched "whoop," which is more common in children, comes from breathing in after a coughing episode. During such an attack, the patient may turn blue, vomit and become exhausted. Between coughing attacks, the patient usually appears normal.

Coughing attacks occur more frequently at night. The attacks increase in frequency for a couple of weeks, remain at the same level for two-to three-weeks, and then gradually decrease. Coughing may last as long as 100 days. Cough medicines usually do not help eliminate this cough. Recovery is gradual, but coughing episodes can recur for months after the onset of pertussis.

Can there be complications?

Although most people recover, complications of pertussis can be severe. It can be a critical illness in children younger than 1 year of age, especially in premature babies or those with lung disease. Nationally, there were 27 deaths reported among infants with pertussis in 2004. Less serious complications include ear infections, loss of appetite and dehydration. Although infrequent, complications affecting the brain, such as convulsions and inflammation, may occur, especially in infants, and can have long-term effects or cause death.

How is pertussis treated?

Pertussis is usually treated with a multi-day course of appropriate antibiotics, such as azythromycin, erythromycin or clarithromycin, or an acceptable alternative. Some children may need to be hospitalized. People in close contact with children or adults with pertussis usually need to be treated with antibiotics and efforts should be taken to minimize an infant’s exposure to children and adults with cough illnesses.

Can pertussis be prevented?

Every child should get pertussis vaccine at 2, 4, 6 and 15 months of age and another dose at 4 to 6 years of age. This vaccine is given in the same shot with diphtheria and tetanus vaccines. Immunization is required for child care and school attendance.

New booster vaccines became available in 2005 that offer continued protection against pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus for adolescents and adults. These vaccines have been added to the recommended schedule of vaccinations for adolescents. Adults with routine contact with infants less than 12 months of age should receive a booster dose.

Are there side effects to the vaccine?

Local reactions, such as redness, pain and swelling, are common. Occasionally, a lump can be felt at the injection site for several weeks. Reactions such as fever, drowsiness, fretfulness and loss of appetite occur frequently. Most of these problems resolve by themselves. Less frequently, high fever, persistent inconsolable crying lasting more than three hours, fainting or an unresponsive collapsed-like state, and convulsions can occur. Very rarely, severe nervous system problems have been reported.

Information provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Illinois Department of Transportation's Yellow Dot Program

Program Provides Emergency Responders with Crucial Medical Information to Help Crash Victims; Agencies Partner to Boost Awareness

April 12, 2011

This past November the Illinois Department of Transportation unveiled the Illinois Yellow Dot program, a life-saving, traffic safety initiative that provides first responders with critical information to improve emergency care for persons involved in vehicle crashes. IDOT along with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Illinois Department of Aging (IDOA) and Bureau & Putnam County Health Departments are working together to increase awareness of the voluntary, federally funded program, and provide distribution centers and information for interested residents.

"Roadway safety is always a top priority at IDOT, and the Yellow Dot program can help improve roadway safety by providing first responders the crucial medical information they need to treat injuries and save lives, beginning at the scene of a crash," said Acting Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. "This important program gives IDOT and our partners another important way to improve our exceptional record on traffic safety. I encourage all motorists to participate in this unique and effective program, which could make the difference between life and death for individuals involved in crashes."

Because the first hour following an injury is the most crucial, the Yellow Dot program provides essential personal health information to emergency responders in order to promptly care for a crash victim. This 'Golden Hour' is critical in the treatment of crash victims, and the medical information provided through the program could be a lifesaver.

When a crash occurs, emergency medical first responders such as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians are immediately dispatched to the scene. These responders usually have basic information such as the location of the crash and the number of victims. Frequently, minimal personal information is available during this early, most critical time period.

This is a great opportunity for families to update their medical information and have a voice in their emergency treatment in the event of an accident. "The Yellow Dot program will serve as a lifeline to alert first responders of crucial medical information which can help the victims who may be unable to communicate at the crash site or may have forgotten to share the information." Yellow Dot participants are supplied with a simple, bright yellow decal for their car and a corresponding yellow folder. The decal is placed in a conspicuous and consistent place – in the lower left-hand corner of the rear window, driver’s side. The yellow dot signifies there is a folder in the glove compartment containing the following medical information about the motorists: participant’s name, close-up photo, emergency contact information, patient's physician information, medical conditions, recent surgeries, allergies and a list of current medications. Having access to this information allows first responders to make important decisions regarding emergency treatment and can better prepare emergency hospital staff in the receiving room.

"Time is critical in an emergency situation. If paramedics and emergency medical workers know what medications a person is taking, if the person has allergies or a chronic condition, they can make better decisions about treatment," said Acting IDPH Director Dr. Craig Conover. "Delaying treatment can mean the difference between life and death in some cases. Something as simple as having your medical information on a yellow card in your glove compartment can potentially make a big difference in the emergency care you receive."

For your free yellow Dot kit stop by either the Bureau or Putnam County Health Department

The Yellow Dot program, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, was originally introduced in Connecticut in 2002. For more information on the program and to find a distribution center near you, visit

Community Volunteers and the "Medical Reserve Corps"

March 12, 2011

The Bureau Putnam County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is planning an informational luncheon on March 28th, 2012 at 11:00 am at the Bureau County Health Department. Any interested persons may attend and learn about out MRC, You do not have to complete a volunteer registration form prior to attending this meeting. Our scheduled speaker is the MRC Director from Rock Island County Theresa Berg. She will talk, in part, about how their MRC was a vital asset during their response to a Hepatitis A outbreak Please consider becoming a member of the MRC as we will be a well informed, coordinated, functioning unit before, during, and after all emergencies.

The magnitude of any disaster can be greatly reduced by the level of responder's preparedness. A community the size of ours will be dependent on many spontaneous and organized volunteer responders. There has to be a method of incorporating volunteers into the response activities. One method is the MRC. MRC volunteers supplement local emergency and public health resources. MRC units are community based and function as a way to locally organize both medical and non medical volunteers. An MRC includes active and retired medical, public health professionals, and all community members are welcome and encouraged to bring their individual skills, "whatever they may be" to the MRC. MRC volunteers will assist with intake and concession forms, assemble and dispense supplies, reassure and comfort of persons involved, attend planning and trainings meetings. To start the process just go to our MRC Page and complete the online volunteer registration form or download a form and either mail, e-mail or drop it off at the Bureau or Putnam County Health Department office. E-mail registration can be sent to

Listeria Outbreak Is Deadliest in More Than a Decade

Death Toll From Listeria Outbreak Hits 28

October 25th, 2011

(HealthDay News) -- The death toll in the listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes produced at a Colorado farm has reached 28, with another 133 people sickened in 26 states, U.S. officials said late Tuesday.

Officials said last week that the outbreak appeared to have been caused by unsanitary conditions at the farm.

Inspections on Sept. 22 and 23 by federal and state authorities at the Jensen Farms packing facility in Granada found "unsanitary conditions where the [fruit] may have become adulterated," Sherri McGarry, senior advisor at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's CORE Network, said during a news conference last week.

Inspectors said the layout of the farm's packing facility allowed water to pool on the floor, making it hard to clean the floor and the equipment used to pack the melons -- and that could have served as a conduit for the germ to latch onto the fruit.

In addition, Jensen Farms did not cool its cantaloupes before placing them in cold storage, which may have caused condensation promoting the growth of listeria, McGarry said.

"We have no reason to believe, at this time, that these practices are indicative of practices throughout the industry," she said.

The plant, which was registered with the FDA in 2010, had never been inspected and was not due to be inspected for five to seven years, she added.

"The tragic deaths and illness from this outbreak have again demonstrated the need to continually address and improve food-safety practices," U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said at the news conference.

The agency said that even though the cantaloupes in question were recalled in mid-September, more cases might still emerge since Listeria monocytogenes infection has a long lag time between diagnosis and laboratory confirmation "and also because up to two months can elapse between eating contaminated food and developing listerosis."

The listeriosis-linked deaths have occurred in Colorado (7), Indiana (1), Kansas (3), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (2), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (5), New York (2), Oklahoma (1), Texas (2) and Wyoming (1). The people who have died ranged in age from 48 to 96, the CDC said.

One pregnant woman who contracted the illness had a miscarriage, the CDC said.

Back on Sept. 14, the agency announced that Jensen Farms had voluntarily recalled its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes and the produce was "now off store shelves." Consumers -- especially older adults, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women -- should discard this brand of cantaloupe if it is in their refrigerator, the agency said. Other brands of cantaloupe are safe to consume, however.

At a recent news conference, CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden called the cantaloupe-linked outbreak "the deadliest outbreak of a foodborne disease that we've identified in more than a decade."

Unlike other bacteria, listeria can flourish in colder temperatures. So, "if you've got a contaminated cantaloupe in your refrigerator, the listeria will continue to grow," Frieden said. "That's one of the reasons why we may see continued cases from cantaloupe already in people's refrigerators in the days and weeks ahead."

Although listeria tends to infect fewer people, it is typically deadlier than other foodborne germs and disproportionately affects the elderly, newborns, pregnant women and anyone with a weakened immune system. People can develop meningitis from the organism, but many people only experience milder diarrhea.

According to the CDC, some 1,600 cases are reported annually in the United States, resulting in 260 deaths.

The bacterium tends to grow in soil and water. But animals can also carry the germ and pass it on to humans through meats, dairy products and other foods of animal origins. Most listeria outbreaks are from animal products, not produce, the CDC said.

SOURCES: Oct. 19, 2011, news conference with Margaret Hamburg, M.D., commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Sherri McGarry, senior advisor, CORE Network, Office of Foods, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Oct. 18, 2011, news release, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Sept. 28, 2011, news conference with Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Margaret Hamburg, M.D., commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Birds Needed for West Nile Virus Testing

July 28, 2011

The Bureau & Putnam County Health Department West Nile Virus Surveillance Program has now been underway for almost 2 months. The program consists of testing birds and mosquitoes for West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes have been tested from traps placed in the vicinity of public access / gathering areas in both Bureau and Putnam Counties. So far, West Nile Virus has not been found in the mosquitoes or bird tested. However, we urge the public to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, as West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitoes in neighboring counties this year and in areas across Illinois.

The Health Department is still accepting birds for testing. If you would like to submit a bird for testing please call the health department at 815-872-5091, extension 216 to see if it is eligible, before you touch or handle the bird. In order to qualify for testing, birds must meet these guidelines:

  1. Birds must be dead less than 24 hours (Fresh) and the carcass must not have obvious signs of trauma (struck by a vehicle, window, or animal attack), or decay. Birds dying from WNV are usually found singly, scattered over a wide area. In contrast, birds that die from other causes (storm mortality, food poisoning, toxicants) often die in groups or clusters.
  2. Only adults should handle dead birds. Pick the bird up with gloves, tongs or a shovel. If you do not have gloves, insert your hand into a plastic bag like it is a glove, grasp the bird carefully and invert the bag over the bird. Each bird should be double-bagged in clear plastic bags.
  3. If the bird will not be submitted for testing, place the bagged bird in the trash or bury it away from water sources. After disposal of the bird, wash your hands with soap and water.

Although test results to date have been negative, the recent hot, dry conditions are ideal for a rapid increase in mosquito numbers and possible West Nile Virus in mosquitoes. Please take these common sense precautions to minimize mosquito bites.

  1. Avoid being outdoors at night and early morning, when mosquitoes are active.
  2. If you must go outdoors during these times wear light colored clothing and apply insect repellent.
  3. Ensure that doors and windows have tight, properly fitting screens.
  4. Eliminate all sources of standing water that support mosquito breeding (i.e. bird baths, wading pools, and flowerpots, tires, cans, buckets, clogged gutters, abandoned swimming pools, etc...) on your property. This is especially important because the mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus breed in shallow containers of stagnant water.

For additional information regarding West Nile Virus call the health department at (815) 872-5091, the Illinois Department of Public Health West Nile Virus Hotline at 866-369-9710 or go to the Illinois Department of Public Health's West Nile Virus website.

IEMA Encourages Pet, Livestock Owners to Include Animals in Disaster Preparedness Plans

Plans, preparedness kits can keep pets, livestock safe during disasters

July 1, 2011

SPRINGFIELD - Developing a family disaster plan and assembling an emergency supply kit are two important steps for keeping your family safe when disasters occur. And if your family includes a pet or you own livestock, your emergency planning should include procedures and supplies to ensure their well-being during disasters.

Throughout July, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will be working to increase awareness of pet and livestock preparedness as part of its 12 Month Preparedness Campaign. "More than half of all households include at least one pet," said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. "When disaster strikes, you want to keep them safe. That's why it's important to take into consideration the needs of every family member, including your pets, when developing your emergency plan and kit."

Monken said pet owners should assemble items that will help their pets stay safe and healthy during disasters. Suggested items for the pet disaster preparedness kit include:

  • At least a three-day supply of food and water
  • Extra supplies of pet medicines
  • Copies of pet registration, vaccination and other important documents
  • Photo of your pet in case you are separated during an emergency.
  • Pet first-aid kit, including cotton bandage rolls, tape, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention and isopropyl alcohol.
  • Collar with ID tag, harness and leash.
  • Crate or other pet carrier in case of evacuation.
  • Pet litter and box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach for pet's sanitation needs.
  • Toys, treats or other familiar items to help lessen your pet's stress during the emergency.

It's also important for horse and livestock owners to plan for disasters that could impact their animals. Develop a written plan of action for the types of disasters that could happen in your area (tornadoes, floods, chemical spills, etc.) and include animal confinement locations for each type of disaster, food and water sources that do not rely on electricity, locations to take animals if you can evacuate them and evacuation routes to those locations. Take photographs and document identifying information about each animal, such as brands, ear tags, etc.

If you must evacuate without your livestock during an emergency, leave them in an appropriate preselected area and leave enough hay, food and water for 72 hours. Do not rely on automatic watering systems as power may be lost.

For more information about pet and livestock preparedness, visit the Ready Illinois website at