West Nile mosquitoes found in Wayne; first report of virus in state
A mosquito trap in Wayne has tested positive for the West Nile virus -- the first report of virus activity in Illinois.
The arrival of mosquitoes carrying the disease has prompted public health officials to urge precaution when spending time outdoors for the Memorial Day weekend.
No human cases of West Nile have been reported so far. Virus symptoms include fever, skin rash and head and body aches. Severe cases can lead to encephalitis, meningitis and death.
DuPage County Health Department officials recommend following the "4 D's of Defense" to protect against infected mosquitoes:
• Drain: Drain items that collect standing water around your home, yard or business. Scrub and refill pet water dishes and bird baths regularly.
• Defend: Use an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors and reapply according to directions.
• Dress: Wear long pants, long sleeves and closed-toe shoes when outside to cover the skin.
• Dusk to Dawn: Wear repellent outdoors during those times for mosquito activity.
The county health department website has a Personal Protection Index, a kind of warning system for West Nile activity updated each week on a scale of zero to three, with zero meaning there is no risk and three alerting to multiple, confirmed human cases of West Nile in DuPage.
The department monitors virus activity by collecting and testing mosquitoes in traps throughout the county.