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Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile in Aurora

Trap near Algonquin was found last week

AURORA – A batch of mosquitoes collected from a trap in Aurora tested positive for West Nile virus, according to a news release from the Kane County Health Department.

The release noted that a trap near Algonquin was found last week, and it contained mosquitoes with the disease.

Last year, Kane County had 13 human cases of the illness, according to the health department’s website.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that got the virus from an infected bird. While most people with the virus show no symptoms of illness, some may become ill three to 14 days after being bit by an infected mosquito, the release stated. About two out of every 10 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience illness.

Symptoms are usually mild and include fever, headache and body aches; however, serious illnesses, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. Those 50 and older have the highest risk of serious illness.

The Kane County Health Department says the best way to prevent West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around the home. Additional steps include:

• Avoiding the outdoors during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

• Wearing long sleeves, shoes and socks and long pants when outdoors.

• Using repellants with DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult a doctor before applying repellants to infants.

• Making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and repairing screens with holes. Try to keep windows and doors shut, especially at night.

• Changing birdbaths weekly and maintaining wading pools and stock ornamental ponds with fish. Cover rain barrels with a 16-inch wire screen.

To report the presence of a freshly dead bird, such as crows or blue jays, call 630-444-3040 so the health department can determine whether it has West Nile virus. The birds must not show any signs of decay or trauma.

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