West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the early summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people.
Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.
West Nile Virus is not new in Illinois. It’s important to remember that this disease is here to stay and has serious effects on those that are infected each year.
Through the summer and fall, we execute a surveillance program that monitors the virus in mosquitoes, as well as, birds.
We are in close communication with municipal and county agencies to encourage mosquito control activities and coordinate educational messages to residents.
Because West Nile Virus is here to stay, it’s important to protect yourself and your family. Follow these steps to keep safe this season:
- Make sure eliminate standing water mosquito breeding areas. Discard containers that can hold water and flush/empty those that hold water, but cannot be removed (like birdbaths or gutters) around your property.
- Use mosquito repellents with 30% DEET (10% for children under 12) and follow application instructions.
- Wear light color clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Make sure window screens fit tightly and repair holes.
For more information, please check out our West Nile Virus
webpage or call the Kendall County Health Department at (630)553-9100.