Be Aware of West Nile virus over Labor Day Weekend

Fri September 1, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DuPage County- The DuPage County Health Department is urging residents to enjoy the Labor Day weekend, but to protect against mosquito bites that could lead to West Nile virus (WNV) infection.

"The health department reminds you to "Fight the Bite" and protect yourself and your family from West Nile virus, an illness spread by mosquitoes," said Karen Ayala, Health Department Executive Director.

There have been three reported human cases of WNV in DuPage County this year and the Health Department is asking residents to stay active but to protect against mosquitoes, especially when traveling over the Labor Day weekend.

The Health Department recommends following the 4 Ds of Defense: Drain standing water around your home and yard; Defend by using insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors; Dress with long sleeves, long pants and closed-toe shoes when outside; and wear repellant from Dusk to Dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

The Health Department's Personal Protection Index (PPI) is at Level 3 (high risk) because of the number of mosquito batches testing positive for WNV. Level 3 indicates high numbers of infected mosquitoes in most areas, and multiple human cases of WNV disease in DuPage County. View the PPI at dupagehealth.org.   

The PPI provides a real-time snapshot of WNV activity, which ranges from Level 0 (zero) meaning no risk, to Level 3 announcing a high level of risk with multiple human cases of WNV. The PPI is updated every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. throughout the WNV season.

The Health Department monitors WNV activity by collecting and testing mosquitoes from traps located throughout the county from May through October, the West Nile virus season.

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