Lombard woman has DuPage's first case of West Nile in 2019
A Lombard woman in her 40s is reported to have the first human case of West Nile virus this year in DuPage County, health department officials said Tuesday.
The woman, who became ill in late August, marks the year's fourth recorded case in Illinois.
A recent increase in mosquito batches testing positive for the presence of West Nile prompted the health department to encourage DuPage residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
The virus is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. Roughly one in five people who are infected will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Less than 1 percent will develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).
Officials say the best way to prevent the virus is to avoid mosquito bites and follow the four Ds of defense:
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 these prime times for mosquito activity.
More information on the virus is available at www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/west-nile-virus.