Friday, August 26, 2011

West Nile virus - Woodstock?

The following information was sent to members of a soccer club in the area, and forwarded to me, about the possibility of West Nile Virus (WNV) in the Woodstock area. The email included a reference to the finding of WNV in a pond in the Sweetwater area in northeast Woodstock. That information is actually may be  incorrect.

WNV was found in one mosquito found in one testing trap in this area and also in one in Crystal Lake. That's one mosquito that was caught in a trap and tested. Obviously, if there is one, there is probably more than one.

The description of WNV that follows was included in that email and purportedly came from the Mayo Clinic. That source has not been confirmed.

"West Nile virus is an infection transmitted by mosquitoes. If you become infected with West Nile virus, you may not experience any signs or symptoms or you may experience only minor ones, such as fever and mild headache. However, some people who become infected with West Nile virus develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the brain.
"Mild signs and symptoms of a West Nile virus infection generally go away on their own. But severe signs and symptoms - such as a severe headache, disorientation or sudden weakness - require immediate attention.
"Exposure to mosquitoes where West Nile virus exists increases your risk of getting West Nile virus. Protect yourself from mosquitoes by using mosquito repellent and wearing clothing that covers your skin to reduce your risk."
The email continued, "Please make sure you take the proper precautionary mesures (sic) to protect yourself and your family, this includes your players as well as the family and friends we have out to enjoy our games and practices. (recommended by Mayo Clinic) Apply mosquito repellent with DEET to your skin and clothing. Choose the concentration based on the hours of protection you need - the higher the percentage (concentration) of the active ingredient, the longer the repellent will work. Avoid using DEET on the hands of young children, in case they put their hands in their mouths, or on infants under 2 months of age. When outside, cover your infant's stroller or playpen with mosquito netting."  
Go to the website of the McHenry County Health Department
Click on "Environmental Health"
Scroll down to and click on "Nuisance Program"
Scroll down to and click on "Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus"
Click on link for "McHenry County WNV Data"
Within that section you can examine the "pool data" (mosquito pools). Click through to the last page, where you will find one Positive finding in 60098. That was on August 22, 2011.

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