More West Nile cases are being reported across Northern Illinois. Kane County has nine reported cases and DuPage County has reported 19 as of Oct. 4, 2012. File photo | Sun-Times Media
Kane County West Nile cases
* 2012: 9 (1 death)
2010: 5 (1 death)
2008: 3 (1 death)
2002: 9 (1 death)
* Through Wednesday, October 3
The Kane County Health Department monitors for West Nile activity throughout the county. People can visit the department website at http://kanehealth.com/wnv_surveillance.htm to view a map of the mosquito trap sites throughout Kane as well as other surveillance activities. Surveillance updates are posted once a week.
Updated: November 5, 2012 11:31AM
Four more cases of West Nile virus in humans have been reported in Kane County, the county health department reported Wednesday.
They bring to nine the total number of cases reported so far this year.
The cases reported Wednesday include two men, ages 61 and 67, from Elgin; a St. Charles man, age 50; and a Geneva man, age 59.
The health department said in a press release that it will be reporting new cases once a week on Wednesdays until the end of the West Nile season, which ends with the first hard frost.
The county has seen one death so far this year from West Nile — a 64-year-old Elgin man who died in August.
Others cases in which the patients were recovering include two men, ages 70 and 71, from Aurora; a 61-year-old Geneva woman; and a 16-year-old Batavia girl.
“This summer was hot and dry, the perfect combination for the Culex mosquito, the species that is known to carry the virus,” the department said. “It is likely we will continue to see activity until the season is over.”
West Nile is transmitted through the bite of a 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 persons out of 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness.
Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches; but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. Persons older than 50 have the highest risk of severe disease.
The best way to prevent West Nile or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around the home and take steps to avoid mosquito bites, the health department said.
Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
Use prevention methods whenever mosquitoes are present. When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
Change water in birdbaths weekly. Properly maintain wading pools and stock ornamental ponds with fish. Cover rain barrels with 16-mesh wire screen.
In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.