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More Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus in DuPage County, Prompting Health Advisory

NBC Chicago logo NBC Chicago 5 days ago
© Stimson, Brie (206466279)

DuPage County residents are being asked to take precautions to protect against West Nile virus following an uptick in the number of mosquito samples testing positive.

In a news release, the DuPage County Health Department revealed an increase in mosquito samples that tested positive for the virus, however a specific number of samples remains unclear. Statewide, 408 batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. No human cases have been reported this year.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex pipiens mosquito, commonly called a house mosquito, that picks up the virus by feeding on an infected bird, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Common symptoms in humans include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, with symptoms lasting from a few days to a few weeks.

In hot, dry weather, mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus breed in areas with stagnant water, such as street catch basins, ditches, birdbaths, flowerpots, and buckets, where the mosquitoes multiply rapidly, according to the DuPage County Health Department.

With people enjoying the remaining days of summer outdoors, health officials are urging people to follow the "4Ds of Defense to Protect" from the virus:

  • Drain: Drain items that collect standing water around your home, yard, or business. Scrub and refill pet water dishes and birdbaths regularly (at least weekly).
  • Defend: Use an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors and reapply according to directions.
  • Dress: Wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes when outside to cover the skin.
  • Dusk to Dawn: Wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.

For information about current West Nile activity, residents are encouraged to visit the DuPage County Health Department's website.


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