The DuPage County Health Department has reported the first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in DuPage County this year. It was found in an Aurora man who is in his 60s. The DCHD says he became ill in mid-August.
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex pipiens mosquito, also known as a house mosquito, which has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. DCHD says there has been a recent increase in positive WNV presence in batches of tested mosquitoes.
Four out of five people infected will not show any symptoms. But those do may experience fever, headache, nausea or muscle aches, lasting from a few days to a few weeks. Those symptoms usually go away on their own. In less than one percent of cases, severe neurologic illness such as meningitis or encephalitis can occur. Those at higher risk include people older than 60, and those with compromised immune systems.
Individuals can protect themselves from WNV by taking precautions against mosquito bites. The DCHD encourages four “Ds of defense.” Those include:
Drain: Drain any standing water that may be on your property or around your house.
Defend: Make sure to use a mosquito repellent spray containing DEET if you plan to be outdoors.
Dress: Wear long sleeved shirts or pants, as well as closed toe shoes when you are outdoors.
Dusk to Dawn: Take particular care to protect yourself during these hours when mosquitoes are most active.
Personal Protection Index
The DCHD has a Personal Protection Index (PPI) on its website to let residents know the current level of WNV activity in the area. That information is updated every Wednesday at 3 p.m.
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