West Nile mosquitoes found in Elgin, C’ville
From Staff Reports July 12, 2012 6:18PM
The first mosquitoes collected in Kane County this summer have tested positive for West Nile Virus. | Sun-Times Media File
West Nile Virus
As part of its West Nile program, the Kane County 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.
Information on West Nile virus can be found at:
Kane County Health Dept.: www.kanehealth.com/west_nile.htm
Illinois Dept. of Public Health: www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm
Illinois Dept. of Public Health West Nile Hotline: 866-369-9710
Updated: August 14, 2012 6:27AM
ELGIN — The first mosquitoes to test positive for the West Nile Virus this season have been collected in Kane County, the county health department reported Thursday.
Two mosquito batches collected in health department traps in Elgin and Carpentersville this week have been confirmed positive for the disease.
With this year’s hot, dry weather, the results come as no surprise, the health department said. The first evidence of West Nile usually is found beginning in July or August.
Although this is the first evidence in Kane County, as many as 19 Illinois counties have seen either birds or mosquitoes test positive so far this year, health officials said.
DuPage County reported its first West Nile cases in May, and infected mosquitoes were found in traps in Naperville last week.
In addition, mosquitoes from a trap in Fox River Grove have tested positive for West Nile virus, the first positive test in McHenry County this year, the McHenry County Department of Health said.
No human cases of the virus have been reported so far this year, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Only two out of 10 people bitten by an infected mosquito experience any illness, health officials say.
Those who do get ill from West Nile usually experience fever, headache and body aches. But serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and even death are possible. People older than 50 have the highest risk of severe disease.
In 2011, Kane reported one human case. In 2010, there were five cases in the county. In 2009, an unusually mild summer with cool temperatures, there were no human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Kane.
What you can do
The health department offered the following tips to avoid the West Nile Virus;
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. Also, apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings.
Change water in birdbaths weekly. Properly maintain wading pools and stock ornamental ponds with fish. Cover rain barrels with 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.