The West Nile Virus has been confirmed in mosquito batches collected late last month in Yorkville and Minooka, according to a statement issued Wednesday, Sept. 1 by the Kendall County Health Department.
The batches were the first to test positive for the virus this year in the county, the health department noted.
Positive mosquito batches have also recently been found in several other areas of northern Illinois, including DuPage, Kane, Grundy and Will counties, in addition to counties in central and southern Illinois.
In the statement, health department officials reminded residents that the risk of West Nile Virus is greatest when the weather is hot and dry. The risk diminishes after the first hard frost in the fall.
“Although no human cases of West Nile Virus have been identified in Kendall County this year, the positive test results indicate that the virus is in our backyards and residents should take necessary precautions to protect themselves from mosquitoes,” the statement reads.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, mosquitoes can either carry the West Nile Virus or get it by feeding on infected birds. Mild cases of West Nile infections may cause a slight fever or headache. More severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of a high fever with head and body aches, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and, in the most severe cases, paralysis or death. Usually symptoms occur from three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Persons at the highest risk for serious illness are those 60 years of age or older.
According to the county health department, the best way to prevent West Nile Virus 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.
The health department recommends the following precautions:
*Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other containers. Sources that cannot be eliminated, such as birdbaths, should be flushed weekly.
*Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
*When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET.
*Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut if not screened, especially at night.
Additional information on West Nile Virus and West Nile Virus surveillance can be obtained by calling the health department’s Environmental Health Unit at 630-553-9100 or visit the health department’s West Nile web site at kendallhealth.org/environmental-health/west-nile-and-mosquitoes.
Source: The Daily Chronicle