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West Nile virus rarely carried by floodwater mosquitoes

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Spring rains could make conditions ripe for mosquitoes in the coming days.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says people should be aware of the difference types of mosquitoes and which ones are most likely to carry West Nile virus.

Floodwater mosquitoes (Aedes vexans and other species) typically appear about two weeks after heavy rains and flooding, according to a press release from the health department.

While floodwater mosquitoes can be a nuisance, they are rarely infected with West Nile virus, or WNV.

However, as floodwaters recede into ditches, catch basins or other areas where water sits stagnant, house mosquitoes (Culex pipiens) typically will start to appear. It is house mosquitoes — when found in areas that have seen WNV in recent years — that are often infected with the virus, the health department noted.

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