The Kane County Health Department reported four more cases of West Nile Virus Wednesday, bringing the total so far this season to nine.
The new cases being reported are: a 67-year-old man and 61-year-old man, both from Elgin; a 50-year-old St. Charles man and a 59-year-old Geneva man, according to a release.
Other cases this year include a 71-year-old man from Aurora, a 61-year-old Geneva woman, a 70-year-old Aurora man, 16-year-old Batavia girl and a 64-year-old Elgin man, who died in August.
This summer was hot and dry, the perfect combination for the Culex mosquito, the species that is known to carry the virus. It is likely we will continue to see activity until the season is over when the first frost occurs, the release stated.
The Health Department monitors for WNV activity in your area and throughout the county. The public can visit the Health Department’s website to view a map of the trap locations throughout the county as well as other surveillance activities. Surveillance updates are posted once a week.
In 2011, Kane County reported one human case and five cases in 2010. In 2009, an unusually mild summer with cool temperatures, there were no human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Kane County. There were three cases of the virus reported in 2008. In 2007 there were thirteen, four in 2006, seventeen in 2005, two in 2004, none in 2003 and nine in 2002.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Only about two persons out of 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. Persons older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.