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Local News

DuPage County sees 2017's first case of West Nile virus

Glen Ellyn man in his 50s contracts virus

GLEN ELLYN – A Glen Ellyn man in his 50s has the West Nile virus, the first reported human case of the virus in 2017 in DuPage County, according to a news release from the DuPage County Health Department.

A recent increase in mosquito batches testing positive for the presence of West Nile virus prompted the Health Department to encourage county residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites and the risk of contracting the virus, according to the release.

The West Nile virus is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. About one in five people who are infected with the virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, Health Department officials said. Less than 1 percent will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.

Health Department officials are urging residents to follow the four "Ds" of defense to prevent West Nile virus:

• Drain: Drain items that collect standing water around a home, yard or business. Scrub and refill pet water dishes and bird baths regularly.

• Defend: Use an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors and reapply according to directions.

• Dress: Wear long pants, long sleeves and closed-toe shoes when outside to cover the skin.

• Dusk to dawn: Wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.

The department encourages residents to check the Personal Protection Index on its website at dupagehealth.org for the most up-to-date information on West Nile virus activity.

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