DuPage County sees 2017's first case of West Nile virus

Henrietta Brewer
August 11, 2017

While there have been no confirmed cases of humans being diagnosed with West Nile virus in McHenry County this year, two batches of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus, the release stated.

The 52 year old man spent time in the hospital and recovered after being treated.

According to the health unit, roughly 80% of people who become infected with the West Nile Virus do not get sick.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex pipiens, or house mosquito.

Anything that can hold water can be a mosquito breeding area. July was a wet month with numerous storms and heavy rainfall.

"While we can trap and test adult mosquitoes and treat places vector mosquito larvae are found, we rely on local residents to help us reduce and repel these insects". The risk of West Nile virus remains until the first hard frost, according to the release.

"However, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are more at risk".

It is important to protect yourself by avoiding mosquitoes.

Use mosquito repellent. Read the label and carefully follow instructions. This is the time of day mosquitoes that can carry the virus are most active.

Make sure windows and doors are "bug tight" and fix or replace screens as needed. "I encourage livestock owners to keep an eye out for standing water for mosquito populations", said State Veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr. Change water in birdbaths, fountains, kiddie pools, and animal troughs at least twice a week.

Horses are also vulnerable to WNV disease and many of those infected die, or must be euthanized.

Vaccines in horses have proven to be a very effective prevention tool.

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