West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus Detected in DuPage County

The first case of mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile Virus has been reported by the DuPage County Health Department. Not only has the area seen it’s first case, but an increase in the mosquitoes testing positive has prompted a reminder from the health department.

“With the high number of mosquito samples testing positive for West Nile virus, it’s important to Fight the Bite,” said Karen Ayala, Health Department Executive Director.

West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus is an annual issue during the summer months when mosquitoes breed in higher numbers. Common mild symptoms of the virus, according to the Mayo Clinic, include: fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and skin rash. More serious cases may include: high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, and partial paralysis and muscle weakness.

Protect Against Mosquitoes

The DuPage County Health Department recommends four steps in reducing the risk of getting bit by mosquitoes:

  • Drain: Drain items that collect standing water around your home, yard or business. Scrub and refill pet water dishes and bird baths regularly.
  • Defend: Use an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors and reapply according to directions.
  • Dress: Wear long pants, long sleeves and closed-toe shoes when outside to cover the skin.
  • Dawn to Dusk: Wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.

The health department also monitors the threat level of the West Nile Virus on a scale of 1-4, with the current level set at 1. In level 1, the department recommends:

“Localized abundance of active mosquitoes, climate conditions favorable for development of virus.” The recommended actions:

  • Drain those items that collect standing water around your home, yard or business. Scrub and refill pet water dishes and bird baths regularly.

  • Defend: Use an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors and reapply according to directions.

Mosquito populations were observed increasing earlier than usual this year.

Kevin Jackman reporting for Naperville News 17

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