A 54-year-old Barrington woman has tested positive for West Nile Virus, becoming Lake County’s first human case in 2013, according to the Lake County Health Department.
Last year, there were seven confirmed cases in Lake County.
The woman was not hospitalized and is recovering, the health department release stated.
“Although we are moving into fall, it is still important to protect yourself against mosquitoes,” said Tony Beltran, the health department’s executive director. “Until we have our first hard freeze, it is important to wear insect repellent and take other precautions.”
In addition to the human case, the department reported that 15 pools of mosquitoes and two birds have tested positive for the virus this year in Lake County.
In August, Buffalo Grove officials reported that a batch of mosquitoes collected from traps in the Lake and Cook county sides of the village tested positive for West Nile.
The health department continues to urge people to take precautions against mosquito bites.
Recommendations to prevent mosquito breeding include:
• Discard old tires, buckets, drums or any water-holding containers. Poke holes in tires used as bumpers on docks.
• Keep roof gutters and downspouts clear of debris.
• Keep trash containers covered.
• Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use.
• Drain unused swimming pools.
• Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water.
• Change the water in bird baths and plant urns at least once a week.
• Store boats upside down or drain rainwater weekly.
Recommendations to prevent mosquito bites include:
• Limit outdoor activity at dusk.
• Wear light-colored clothing that minimizes exposed skin and provides some protection from mosquito bites.
• Make sure door and window screens fit tightly and that all holes are repaired.
• Apply insect repellent according to label instructions.
To report dead birds, areas of stagnant water that conducive for mosquito breeding or to obtain more information on the signs and symptoms of West Nile encephalitis, call the health department’s West Nile virus hot line at (847) 377-8300
According to the health department, most people infected with the virus have no symptoms of illness, some may become ill, usually three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus may occasionally cause serious complications, particularly the elderly, including muscle weakness, inflammation of the brain, stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, coma or death.
More information about WNV can be found on the health department's website: http://health.lakecountyil.gov/Population/Pages/West-Nile-Virus.aspx.