A press release from the McHenry County Health Department:
McHenry County reports first human case of West Nile virus
Woodstock IL – McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) hasconfirmed its first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) of 2017, inan elderly individual from Crystal Lake who remains hospitalized.
As of August 23, fifteen (15) mosquito batches collected in McHenry County have tested positive for WNV and no birds have tested positive. In 2016, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health(IDPH), there were 155 cases of human WNV with six deathsreported in the State.
So far in 2017, IDPH reports 4 human cases with zero deaths.
MCDH continues to urge residents to take precautions as the risk ofmosquito-borne WNV lasts until the first hard frost. Illness from WestNile virus is usually mild and includes fever, headache and bodyaches, but serious illnesses, such as encephalitis, meningitis and death, are possible. Illness can occur 3-15 days after an infectedmosquito bite.
The disease can affect all ages, but persons 50 andolder have the highest risk of severe disease.
The most effective way to prevent against becoming infected withWNV is to follow some basic steps:
- Limit your time outdoors during peak mosquito biting hours which are from dusk to dawn
- When outside (evening and early morning), use repellentand protective clothing such as long-sleeves, long pants andsocks.
- Spray clothes with repellent containing DEET for extra protection. Always follow label directions.
- Get rid of standing water around your home wheremosquitoes will breed (bird baths, old tires, garbage cans,flower pot trays, wheelbarrows).
- Have tight-fitting screens on both windows and doors; replace screens with tears.
For more information on WNV, visit www.mcdh.info (EnvironmentalHealth) or call 815-334- 4585.