2 more West Nile virus-positive mosquito samples found in Will County

Samples were collected from 2 different health department mosquito traps in Bolingbrook

The Will County Health Department confirmed two more West Nile virus-positive mosquito samples for 2021.

This brings the total to three this year for Will County.

The first sample was collected from a health department mosquito trap in Homer Glen on July 23. The presence of West Nile virus was confirmed on July 26, a news release from the health department said.

The recent samples were collected from two different health department mosquito traps in Bolingbrook on July 28. The presence of West Nile virus was confirmed Friday, a news release from the health department said.

The health department has 14 mosquito traps in various regions in Will County, the release said.

The Culex mosquito transmits the West Nile virus through its bite after feeding on an infected bird, the release said. The birds that most commonly carry West Nile virus are blue jays, crows and robins.

People who are immunocompromised or older than 60 have a higher risk of severe illness from the West Nile virus, the release said.

Symptoms of the West Nile virus can last several days to several weeks. Symptoms may include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, the release said.

The health department recommends people should:

• Eliminate excess standing water around your property where Culex mosquitos often breed, such as children’s wading pools, birdbaths and gutters.

• Avoid being outside between dusk and dawn. These peak mosquito periods between dusk and dawn.

• For those who venture out, wear insect repellent containing DEET as well as long sleeves, long pants, and socks and shoes.

If you see a dead bird on your property, contact the Will County Health Department. The bird may need to be tested.

Last year, the Illinois Department of Public Health IDPH reported 39 human cases of West Nile virus, which included four deaths, the release said.

On Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in Illinois for 2021. A Cook County resident in his 80s became ill in mid-June and tested positive for virus, according to a news release from IDPH.

The health departments West Nile virus hotline is 815-740-7631. Or e-mail the health department at westnile@willcountyhealth.org.

Denise  Unland

Denise M. Baran-Unland

Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor for The Herald-News in Joliet. She covers a variety of human interest stories. She also writes the long-time weekly tribute feature “An Extraordinary Life about local people who have died. She studied journalism at the College of St. Francis in Joliet, now the University of St. Francis.