ELGIN – Mosquitoes in an Elgin trap have tested positive for West Nile virus, making it the seventh trap in Kane County to contain infected mosquitoes this year.
Chris Hoff, spokesman for the Kane County Health Department, said this usually is the time of year West Nile starts to surface in the area.
"Typically, the season does peak in late July through August," he said. "It's not unusual to see this many traps [containing West Nile-infected mosquitoes]."
In addition to Elgin, traps in or near Batavia, Aurora, Montgomery and Algonquin have contained mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus. Three birds – two in Batavia and one in Aurora – also have tested positive for the virus, Hoff said. He added mosquitoes in the trap near Algonquin tested positive for the virus twice this year.
Last year, health officials found 13 human cases of West Nile virus, but none have surfaced so far this year.
Though only about two out of every 10 people bitten by an infected mosquito show symptoms of the virus, it can be severe or even deadly, especially for those older than age 50, officials said. Symptoms typically appear three to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito and can include fever, headache and body ache. In severe cases, it can cause encephalitis and meningitis.
Hoff said people can take easy measures to protect themselves from becoming infected, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and wearing repellant. Other steps include making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and changing water in bird baths weekly.
For information about West Nile virus, visit www.kanehealth.com/west_nile.htm or call the state's West Nile hotline at 866-369-9710.