West Nile Forecast

We’re heading into West Nile Virus season and the DuPage County Health Department expects it to be worse than last year.

July and August tend to be prime time for the Culex mosquito to transmit the virus because that’s when it’s hottest and driest, conditions the species likes.

“The trend for the past 12 years has been up and then down. So with last year being down, we expect this year to be up,” said Dave Hass, Public Information Officer, DuPage County Health Department.

The virus can cause no symptoms in most people but minor symptoms in others like headache, fever, body ache, vomiting, or rash.

Less than 1% of those infected can develop a serious neurological illness such as meningitis, and of them, about 1 in 10 can die.

Still it’s a good idea to wear insect repellent, cover yourself in long sleeves and pants from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and remove any standing water, which serve as a breeding ground for the Culex mosquito.

The health department has a Personal Protection Index on their website that shows the level of West Nile Virus activity.

For the first time, the Naperville Park District also has that same index on its site, plus any reports of the virus found at specific parks, of which there are none so far.

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