Remain vigilant against mosquito bites to prevent West Nile virus

Wed August 26, 2015

The DuPage County Health Department reports that the number of mosquito batches testing positive for the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in DuPage County is increasing and that consequently increases the risk that residents might contract WNV. The Health Department advises residents to be cautious and avoid mosquito bites, but they should not curtail outdoor activities.

The weather forecast for the next week includes warmer temperatures and that also increases the potential for the increased presence of WNV. No human cases of WNV disease have been reported in DuPage County this year.

The Health Department's Personal Protection Index (PPI) widget has been raised from one (low) to two (moderate) on the Health Department's website. The PPI is an easy-to-understand alert system that informs the public about the risk of contracting WNV, as well as the steps that should be taken to protect themselves and their families.

The PPI widget provides residents with a real-time snapshot of WNV activity in the county, which ranges from zero to three, zero meaning there is no risk and three announcing a high level of risk with multiple confirmed human cases of WNV. Many community partners including townships, municipalities and park districts, also have the PPI widget posted to their homepages. Residents who click on the widget will be linked to the Health Department's "Fight the Bite" page for additional information.

The prevention tips are based on the "4 Ds of Defense," which include draining standing water, using insect repellent to defend yourself, dressing with long sleeves to cover your skin and being especially careful between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

The Health Department monitors WNV activity by collecting and testing mosquitoes in traps located throughout the county. 

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