WAUKEGAN – The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center is reporting the first human case of West Nile virus in Lake County for 2018. A Waukegan resident in her 60s became ill in mid-August, according to a news release.
“Take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites and West Nile virus,” said Mark Pfister, the Health Department’s executive director. “Even though the weather is getting cooler, mosquitoes will remain active until the first hard frost.”
To date, 61 pools or batches of mosquitoes and two birds have tested positive for West Nile virus in 2018. Since 2002, there have been 66 human cases of West Nile virus in Lake County, as well as two confirmed deaths.
Follow the “4D’s of Defense” to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes:
• Drain: Drain standing water from items around your home, yard, and business.
• Defend: When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, 2-undecanone, or IR3535 and reapply according to label directions.
• Dawn and Dusk: Protect yourself all day and night, and wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.
• Dress: Wear long sleeves, pants, and closed toe shoes when outdoors to cover your skin.
Most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms of illness. However, some may become ill usually three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle ache. In some individuals, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.
Find prevention tips and information on West Nile virus at www.FightTheBiteNow.com. Residents also can call the Health Department’s West Nile hot line to report areas of stagnant water, report locations of dead birds, and obtain more information on the signs and symptoms of West Nile virus.
The West Nile hot line number is 847-377-8300.