Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Illinois Reports First Human West Nile Case Early
Until now West Nile has only been found in either birds or batches of mosquitoes this year. However, it's been detected in 27 counties so far, compared to just 7 at this time last year. Those include McHenry where mosquitoes from a trap in Fox River Grove tested positive and Kane where traps near Elgin and Carpentersville yielded West Nile mosquitoes.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Only 2 out of 10 people bitten by an infected mosquito experience any illness, health officials say. Those who do get ill from West Nile usually experience fever, headache and body aches. But serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and even death are possible. People older than 50 have the highest risk of severe disease.
Health officials advise staying inside when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn. They also suggest When outdoors, wearing shoes and socks, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and lots of insect repellent.
In the pic: Culex mosquitoes like this one are the most likely West Nile carriers but you can swat any others that bite you just on general principles.