Watch out for mosquitoes as warmer weather arrives

Wed May 27, 2015

Mosquitoes are likely to become plentiful as warmer weather arrives and DuPage County residents are encouraged to protect themselves from mosquito bites and the risk of contracting West Nile virus (WNV).

The DuPage County Health Department is again using the Personal Protection Index (PPI) widget on its website, which 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.

Residents may also report dead birds using a simple form on the Health Department's website:
http://www.dupagehealth.org/dead-bird-sighting. Dead birds can often be an early sign of the presence of the virus in the environment.

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. The widget is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Residents will be able to see the PPI widget by visiting the Health Department's website.

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.  The PPI widget will be updated by 3 p.m. each Wednesday throughout the WNV season. These weekly updates will be determined by the Health Department's vector-borne disease surveillance experts.

Residents will be able to view the PPI widget by visiting the Health Department's website. 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.

 
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Watch out for mosquitoes as warmer weather arrives