Mosquitoes with West Nile virus found in Aurora, Montgomery

mosquito adult
mosquito adult

The Kane County Health Department announced Wednesday afternoon it found mosquitoes with West Nile virus in traps in Montgomery and Aurora.

“These are the first two traps that tested positive this year that were collected by the Health Department,” a press release from the department said. “Previously, a crow collected on May 19 in Campton Township had tested positive for the disease.”

Earlier this week, the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed in a press release the first positive human case of West Nile virus, reported by the Chicago Department of Public Health.

The Health Department regularly monitors for West Nile virus. The department has a map available to show trap locations throughout the county at http://kanehealth.com/wnv_surveillance.htm.

As part of its West Nile program, the Health Department also collects dead birds to be sent to the state lab for testing. They ask residents to call 630-444-3040 to report the presence of freshly-dead birds, such as crows or blue jays, to determine if West Nile virus testing is recommended. The birds must not show any signs of decay or trauma, officials said.

West Nile virus 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, the Health Department said.

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 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.

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.

Precautions include:

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, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus, according to label instructions.

Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Try to 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.

Additional information about West Nile Virus can be found on the Kane County Health Department’s website at http://www.kanehealth.com/west_nile.htm.

There also is information at the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm. People also can call the IDPH West Nile Virus Hotline at 866-369-9710 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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