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Mr. Gene Johnston

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Background Information

Employment History

Environmental Coordinator


Director of Environmental Health


Whiteside County Health Department environmental director

Whiteside County Health Department environmental specialist


Environmental Health , Whiteside County Health Department

Web References (18 Total References)

"The two owls fell over dead ... [cached]

"The two owls fell over dead for no apparently reason according to our contact which made us suspect that the bird was infected," said Gene Johnston, WCHD environmental coordinator.

One of the owls was packaged and sent to the Illinois Department of Agriculture lab in Galesburg for testing to determine if it had West Nile disease. The lab reported late Friday, July 30, that owl was positive for West Nile, Johnston said.
"Owls are just as vulnerable as most other birds," he said.
Mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus to birds, horses and people. West Nile virus transmits from mosquitoes that get the virus from infected birds and then transmit it to people. West Nile virus does not spread by person-to-person contact or directly from animals to people.
Recent hot temperatures are providing conditions for West Nile virus to develop, Johnston said. Culex mosquitoes, the primary vector for the spread of west nile virus, typically reproduce in artificial container other stagnant pools of water and come out at dawn and dusk to feed on birds or others.
So far, Whiteside County Health Department has sent five birds in for testing. Each local health department can send a maximum of 10. Whiteside County Health Department also has conducted mosquito pool testing since the first week in July in Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison. All tests have come up negative in those areas, Johnston said.

'The virus has amplified enough so ... [cached]

'The virus has amplified enough so we are picking up mosquitoes throughout the county, in the middle, the east and west,' said Gene Johnston, director of environmental health for the Whiteside County Health Department.

The latest batch of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus was found in Fulton on Sept. 12.Traps were set the nights of Sept. 10-11 in the southeast portion of Fulton, near the Manufacturers Addition subdivision, Mr. Johnston said.
Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus were collected Sept. 6 in Morrison, and a dead crow was found Aug. 16 in Sterling.
This week's hot weather will add to the formation of infected mosquitoes.
'The risk still remains until we get one or two hard frosts,' Mr. Johnston said.

CGH Medical Center - CGH News [cached]

That is why personal protection is so important," said Gene Johnston, director, Environmental Health, Whiteside County Health Department.

"This isn't the type of environment ... [cached]

"This isn't the type of environment where the culex mosquito typically lays its eggs," said Gene Johnston, Whiteside County Health Department environmental director. "They are more likely to lay eggs in containers, tires, and empty pools where there is no current or habitat."

Johnston said the banks of the pond could, however, be a fertile breeding ground for the basic floodwater mosquito. - Serving Dixon, Sterling, Rock Falls and Northern Illinois [cached]

The county also recently received a positive test for West Nile on a crow found dead in the eastern part of the county, according to Gene Johnston, Whiteside County Health Department environmental specialist.

Johnston said though the county checks its traps twice a week, it has found no West Nile-carrying mosquitoes in the three traps it has set out.Two are in Whiteside County and the third is in Carroll County.
"We set them up in the afternoon and check them the next morning," he said.
"The trap is pretty selective because of the kind of attractant we use," Johnston said."We're really looking for the gravid culex mosquito.
The county launched a vigorous campaign to educate the public, and supplied larvaecide pellets to townships and municipalities this year, Johnston said.

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