Culex mosquito
Culex mosquito

First Mosquitoes Positive for West Nile Virus Reported in Montgomery

Kane County Connects Staff 7/18/2022 11:00AM

The Kane County Health Department has confirmed the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in 2022. The Kane County Health Department collected a mosquito batch in Montgomery that tested positive through its West Nile Surveillance Program.

Monitoring for West Nile virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests for mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins, and other perching birds, as well as testing sick horses and humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms.

People who see a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin, or other perching bird should contact their local health department or check their website for details to determine if the bird will be eligible to pick up for testing.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex pipiens mosquito, commonly called a house mosquito, which has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.

Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache, and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with the West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illnesses, including meningitis, encephalitis, or even death, can occur.

People older than 60 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from the West Nile virus.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) encourages the public to Fight the Bite by practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report:

• REDUCE - 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. Eliminate, or refresh each week, all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and other containers.
• REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants, and a light-colored, long-sleeved shirt, and apply an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
• REPORT – report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week, such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Additional information about the West Nile virus can be found on the IDPH website.

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