Wheaton senior is fifth West Nile virus case reported in DuPage County

WHEATON – A Wheaton woman in her 80s is the fifth reported case of West Nile virus in DuPage County in 2017, the DuPage County Health Department reported.

“The recent warm weather that followed a cool spell may have caused some people to be less cautious. Please protect yourself and your family because the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are still active,” Health Department Executive Director Karen Ayala said in a news release.

The Health Department reminds residents to protect against mosquitoes by following the “four Ds of defense”: drain standing water around homes and yards; defend by using insect repellent containing DEET; dress with long sleeves, long pants and closed-toe shoes when outside; and wear repellent from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

The department’s personal protection index remains at Level 3 (high risk) because of the number of mosquito batches testing positive for West Nile, the release stated. The index provides a real-time snapshot of viral activity, and it is updated at 3 p.m. every Wednesday throughout the West Nile virus season. The index is available at dupagehealth.org.

About one in five people infected with the virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Less than 1 percent will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.

People older than 50 and those with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and organ transplants, are at greater risk for serious illness. Anyone who experiences symptoms that cause concern should contact a health care provider.

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