The DuPage County Health Department informed the city of Aurora that a case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed on Aurora’s far east side. Consequently, the city dispatched a team to immediately spray the designated area in an attempt to control the mosquito population.
Meanwhile, the Kane County Health Department has reported 19 positive samples for West Nile Virus this season, with no human cases reported in Kane County as of Aug. 6.
Several communities — including but not limited to Geneva, East Dundee, St. Charles and North Aurora — have sent news releases in recent days alerting residents of mosquito spraying efforts.
A spike in mosquito samples testing positive for West Nile virus has the DuPage County Health Department reminding residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites and the risk of contracting WNV.
The number of mosquito samples testing positive for WNV rose to 56 percent for the week ending Aug. 4, compared to 38 percent the previous week.
The key factors in determining the degree of West Nile virus activity are temperatures and rainfall. In hot, dry weather, mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus (primarily Culex mosquitoes) breed in stagnant water, like street catch basins and ditches, and multiply rapidly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection.
Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About one in five people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1 percent of infected people develop a serious illness, according to the city of Aurora news release.
Residents are encouraged to protect themselves from mosquito bites and the risk of contracting WNV by remembering the “4 Ds of Defense”:
- Drain: 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.
- Dress: Wear long pants, long sleeves and closed toe shoes when outside to cover the skin.
- Dusk And Dawn: Wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.
Dead birds can often be an early sign of the presence of the virus in the environment.
Residents should report dead birds to their county health department. Only report dead birds if there is no obvious cause of death other than disease. Birds with obvious injuries such as wounds and birds found along roadways should not be reported.
Reports can be made to:
- DuPage County
- Kane County: 630-444-3040
SOURCE: city of Aurora news release, Kane County Health Department website