First West Nile virus case reported in DuPage

The DuPage County Health Department reported the first human case of West Nile virus in DuPage County in 2023 earlier this month.

A Woodridge resident in their 60s became ill in August, the health department reported Sept. 1.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. About one in five who are infected will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Less than 1 percent will develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.

With a continued rise in recent weeks in mosquito batches testing positive for the presence of West Nile virus, the health department is asking residents to stay safe outdoors by protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

The best way to prevent the virus is to avoid mosquito bites and follow the four Ds of defense.

• Drain — Drain items that collect standing water around the home, yard or business. Scrub and refill pet water dishes and bird baths regularly.

• Defend — Use an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors, and reapply according to directions.

• Dress — Wear long pants, long sleeves and closed-toe shoes when outside to cover the skin.

• Dusk to dawn — Wear insect repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.

Residents are encouraged to check the Personal Protection Index on the health department’s website at for the most up-to-date information on virus activity. West Nile virus activity generally decreases in the fall when cooler temperatures arrive and especially after the first frost of the season.