More mosquito batches with West Nile found
From Submitted Reports July 13, 2012 3:32PM
An aedes aegypti mosquito is shown on human skin from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Updated: August 18, 2012 6:06AM
Three more batches of mosquitoes collected recently have tested positive for West Nile Virus, the Kane County health Department announced.
The mosquito batches were collected in Kane County Health Department traps in Aurora, Montgomery and Carpentersville. This brings the total to five positive batches this year, and the second from Carpentersville. Another batch was found previously in Elgin.
These positive mosquito batches usually are the first indicators of West Nile activity, the department said in a press release.
Although it has been extremely dry, the few intermittent showers the area has experienced are enough to leave small pools of stagnant water where the Culex mosquito — the species associated with the disease — can breed. Now is a good time for people to inspect their yards for areas that can collect water and remove it, the department said.
The health department monitors for WNV activity throughout the county. Its website — http://kanehealth.com/wnv_surveillance.htm — has a map of the trap locations.
Also as part of its West Nile program, the health department is collecting dead birds to be sent to the state lab for testing. People can call 630-444-3040 to report the presence of freshly dead birds (such as crows or blue jays) to determine if WNV testing is recommended. The birds must not show any signs of decay or trauma.
Kane County reported one human case of West Nile Virus in 2011 and five cases in 2010. In 2009, an unusually mild summer with cool temperatures, there were no human cases reported in Kane County. There were three cases of the virus reported in 2008. In 2007 there were 13, four in 2006, 17 in 2005, two in 2004, none in 2003 and nine in 2002.
More-detailed monitoring results from previous years can be found at http://kanehealth.com/west_nile.htm.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around the home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites, the health department said.