A total of four Naperville parks have returned one case of West Nile virus this summer, according to the Naperville Park District.
This week, mosquito traps at Burlington Park, 1003 Douglas Ave., Sportsman’s Park, 731 S. West St. and Seager Park, 1163 Plank Rd. initially tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Naperville Park District.
This is the first time tests showed West Nile at Burlington and Sportsman's Parks, but mosquito traps in Seager Park and Springhill Park, 703 Springhill Circle, have tested positive for one instance of West Nile virus at each park since July. Positive, reportable results of West Nile virus are defined as two instances in one location.
City crews will spray the affected areas Aug. 22 and 23 and will retest next week, according to the Naperville Park District.
The city is reminding residents to remove areas of standing water from their property, as it can act as a breeding ground for this insect, according to the city.
In order for residents to protect themselves, city officials provided the following tips and information:
- West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people who are infected with the West Nile Virus have no symptoms or experience very mild symptoms three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Mild symptoms include a fever, headache and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.
- Less than 1 percent of infected people with West Nile Virus will develop severe symptoms. These symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. Persons older than 50 years of age and immunocompromised persons (e.g. transplant patients) 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.
- Whenever outdoors between dusk and dawn, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Loose fitting, light colored clothing is best. Consider staying indoors at dusk and dawn, which is peak mosquito biting time.
- Apply insect repellant to exposed skin when outdoors. The most effective repellents contain DEET. Use caution when applying repellant to children. Products containing 10 percent or less DEET are the most appropriate for children from 2 to 12 years of age. Use repellents as directed by the manufacturer.
- Install tight-fitting window and door screens. Check for and repair any tears in residential screens, including porches and patios. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
- Reduce or eliminate the amount of standing water around your home. Remove old tires, tin cans, flower pots and buckets and change the water in birdbaths at least once a week. Any container holding water for more than four days can become a breeding ground for thousands of mosquitoes.
- Keep gutters clear of debris.
- Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around your home.
- Eliminate yard ruts and puddles.
- Aerate ornamental ponds or stock with larvae eating fish.
- Use Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), available in hardware stores, in any standing water around your home.
For more information on mosquito control, visit www.naperville.il.us/mosquitocontrol.aspx.