Mosquitoes in Nunda, Lake in the Hills test positive for West Nile virus
The McHenry County Department of Health reports that mosquito batches collected on July 31 and Aug. 6 from mosquito traps in Nunda Township and Lake in the Hills have tested positive for West Nile virus. These are the first positive tests for West Nile in McHenry County in 2015.
The health department has tested 311 mosquito batches as of Aug. 18; all other batches tested negative for West Nile. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 44 human cases in 2014, including four fatal. One human case of West Nile was reported in McHenry County in 2014. Two birds collected in McHenry County have been submitted and tested with negative results.
The health department will continue to collect and test mosquito batches throughout the remainder of the season, mid-October, and will accept a limited number of dead birds for testing.
It is important to remember that the risk of West Nile remains until the first hard frost.
Residents should continue to use insect repellent when going out of doors in the evening, with long sleeved shirts and long pants for extra protection.
Other tips include emptying standing water from containers around the house and making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.
Illness from West Nile virus is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches but serious illnesses, such as encephalitis and meningitis and death, are possible.
People age 50 and older have the highest risk of severe disease.
For more information on West Nile, visit www.mcdh.info (Environmental Health) or call (815) 334-4585.