DCHD reports first West Nile positive mosquitoes in DuPage County for 2023

Close up of mosquito on skin
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The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is reporting its first batch of mosquitoes in the county this year to test positive for West Nile virus (WNV).

The affected samples were taken on July 5, in Medinah, Wheaton, and Wood Dale.

No West Nile cases in DuPage County residents reported this year

West Nile virus is typically spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. DuPage County officials say that there have been no human cases reported yet in DuPage County this year.

Most people who do get infected do not feel sick, with about one in five of those developing a fever and other symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About one out of 150 who are infected develop a serious illness which can be fatal.

How residents can protect themselves

DCHD officials say the best precaution against WNV is to take steps to prevent mosquito bites.

“Fight the Bite when spending time outdoors by using insect repellent, draining standing water, and limiting outdoor exposure from dusk to dawn,” said DuPage County Health Department Executive Director in a press release.

The best insect repellant to use is one which contains DEET, health officials say. Wearing long pants and long sleeves when outside, along with closed-toe shoes, are also recommended.

Personal Protection Index (PPI) widget

The DCHD offers a Personal Protection Index (PPI) widget on its website which displays current WNV activity in the county. The measurement scale ranges from zero to three, with zero indicating no risk, and three being the highest level of risk. Currently the level is one.

The DCHD collects and tests mosquitoes in traps placed throughout the county, to help better determine the risk factor. Any confirmed human cases of WNV also play a role in the level.

The widget is updated each Wednesday by 3 p.m. during the WNV season.

Dead birds an indicator of West Nile in area

Another indicator of the presence of WNV in the area is dead birds. Birds can be fatally infected by the virus.

If residents spot dead birds, they can report them on the DCHD website.

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