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West Nile Virus Widget Makes it Easy to ‘Fight the Bite’

Thu June 19, 2014

To help DuPage County residents protect themselves against West Nile virus (WNV), the DuPage County Health Department is introducing an enhanced version of last year's Personal Protection Index (PPI) widget. This easy-to-understand alert system 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. The widget is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

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 at     www.dupagehealth.org. 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.

For more information, visit www.dupagehealth.org/ftb and follow Fight the Bite on Twitter @fight_the_bite or become a fan on facebook.com/fightthebitedupage.

 

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