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Local

Kane County Health Department advises residents to take precautions against West Nile Virus

Mosquitos containing the virus have been found in DuPage County

KANE COUNTY – The Kane County Health Department is advising residents that West Nile virus has surfaced in DuPage County, but no signs of the dieasehave been detected in Kane County. In 2018 Kane reported seven human cases and 59 positive mosquito pools.

According to a press release from the health department, the mosquitoes typically seen in late spring and early summer are not the kind that spread West Nile Virus. Those mosquitoes are called “nuisance” or floodwater mosquitoes. West Nile Virus is most commonly associated with the Culex mosquito. Hot, dry weather and stagnant water are the main ingredients prized by the Culex.

According to the health department, West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

Only about two people out of 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness, which is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. People older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.

According to the health department, the best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites, like avoiding the outdoors between dawn and dusk, wearing socks, shoes and long pants and shirts, using insect repellent that contains DEET, changing water in birdbaths frequently and covering rain barrels with a screen.

The Kane County Health Department monitors for West Nile activity in the county. Visit KaneHealth.com/Documents/Diseases/WestNileTrapMap.pdf to view a map of the trap locations throughout the county.

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