The DeKalb County Health Department is reporting that mosquitoes collected in traps in DeKalb, Sycamore, and Sandwich have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).
Several counties have reported WNV positive mosquito samples this year, which is associated with an increased risk of WNV in people. There have been no human cases in DeKalb County this year.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected after feeding on an infected bird. It is important to remember that not all mosquitoes, or birds, carry West Nile Virus – most do not.
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. Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis have been known to develop. Persons older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease. Precautions include practicing the three “R’s”-Reduce, Repel, and Report.
REDUCE exposure: Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn. Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night. Eliminate or refresh all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and any other receptacles.
REPEL: 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 or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
REPORT: Report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.
For additional information, check the DeKalb County Health Department website at
http://health.dekalbcounty.org/environmental/other.html. To learn more about the many programs and services of the Health Department, visit http://health.dekalbcounty.org/ or follow us on social media.