County residents are reminded to be extra diligent during the approaching Labor Day weekend and protect themselves from mosquito bites that could lead to West Nile virus (WNV) infection. The Health Department has raised its Personal Protection Index (PPI) from level one (low) to level two (moderate) because of an increase in the number of mosquito batches testing positive for WNV.
Level two indicates that there are high numbers of infected mosquitoes in most areas, which could potentially increase the likelihood for human cases to appear. At this time, there have been no confirmed human cases of WNV reported in DuPage County this year. Level two cautions residents to drain any standing water around their homes and defend by wearing an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors, especially during prime times of mosquito activity like between dusk and dawn.
County residents will be enjoying the great outdoors and traveling during the Labor Day weekend and they are advised by the Health Department to be cautious, but not curtail any outdoor plans.
The Health Department encourages residents to follow the “4 Ds of Defense,” which include draining standing water, using insect repellent to defend yourself, dressing with long sleeves and pants to cover your skin and being especially careful between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
The PPI widget provides a real-time snapshot of WNV activity, which ranges from zero to three, zero meaning there is no risk and three announcing a high level of risk with multiple confirmed human cases of WNV. View the PPI widget at www.dupagehealth.org. Many community partners including townships, municipalities and park districts, also have posted the PPI widget on their websites. Residents who click on the widget will be linked to the Health Department’s “Fight the Bite” page for additional information. The Health Department monitors WNV activity by collecting and testing mosquitoes in traps located throughout the county.