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Health Department Urges Protection Following Additional Cases of West Nile virus

Wed August 29, 2018

DUPAGE COUNTY-The DuPage County Health Department announced on Wednesday that there are now six human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) that have been reported in the county in 2018. This is an increase of four human cases since earlier this month, and it is anticipated that the numbers will continue to increase over the coming weeks.

As Labor Day weekend approaches, the DuPage County Health Department is reminding residents to "Fight the Bite" and protect against mosquitoes by 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;

· Dusk-to-Dawn Wear repellant from during these times when mosquitoes are most active.

The Health Department's Personal Protection Index (PPI) remains 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.

While most people infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms, approximately one in five people infected with WNV will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Less than one percent will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).

People over the age of 60, and those with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and organ transplants are at greater risk for serious illness, and rarely may progress to coma and death.

Anyone who experiences symptoms that cause concern should contact their health care provider.

The Health Department continues to monitor 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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