The West Nile virus in the suburbs is at its highest level since an outbreak in 2012, officials say.
Over the past week, North Shore Mosquito Abatement District employees have found a significant increase in mosquitoes carrying the virus.
“The amount of viruses we detect in mosquitoes is far above the historical average for this time of year and also occurs earlier in the season than average,” said Mark Clifton, Director of Press Release. “These factors indicate that the risk of human West Nile virus infections is elevated and likely to be elevated during the rest of August. “
Prices are higher than 201
2, not good. That year, 290 Illinois residents, including 174 in Cook County, were infected with West Nile virus.
Early rains like the drenched Chicago area in combination with recent high temperatures have developed the perfect conditions for Culex pipiens, the type of mosquito that carries the virus. The species does not develop well during heavy rain, but since the region has dried out and heated, make hot stagnated water ideal breeding places, say officials.
The West’s risk is not slower.  “We still see it increasing, and it is based on catch data from Wednesday’s gathering,” said North Shore Mushroom District spokesman Dave Zazra.
Zazra predicted the increased risk of the West Nile virus will continue for several weeks.
Most people who have been infected with the virus show no symptoms. Mild cases can cause weak fever or headache. More serious infections are marked with a rapid fever feeling with head and body pain, disorientation, tremor, cramps and in the most serious cases paralysis or death.
Symptoms usually occur within three to 14 days after bites from an infected mosquito. People who are 50 years of age or older have the highest risk of serious illness.
Here are some tips to keep safe from mosquitoes:
• Use spray repellents such as DEET, Picardin, IR3535, Lemonelucalyptus oil or Paramenthane diol or 2-undecano.
• Avoid going out at dusk and dusk, the most active time for mosquitoes.
• Keep your skin covered.
• Eliminate stationary water pools of all sizes on your property.