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7/19/2013 2:18:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
IDPH reports first West Nile virus-positive bird for 2013
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recently confirmed the first West Nile virus positive bird reported in Illinois for 2013.

The Monroe County Health Department collected a West Nile virus positive starling in Waterloo.

Waterloo is about 160 miles from Lawrenceville.

"We are now starting to see West Nile virus in both mosquitoes and birds, which means it's only a matter of time before we start seeing West Nile virus in people," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. "Remember to protect yourself by wearing insect repellent and getting rid of any standing water around your home."

A mosquito sample collected in Cook County in May was the first West Nile virus positive result this year. To date, West Nile virus positive birds and/or mosquitoes have been reported in 17 counties - Bureau, Clay, Cook, DuPage, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, McHenry, Monroe, Peoria, Perry, Putnam, Sangamon and St. Clair.

No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported so far this year.

Last year, 55 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird and/or human case. For the 2012 season, IDPH reported the second highest number of West Nile virus human cases in state history with 290 residents and 12 deaths. This was second only to the 2002 outbreak in Illinois in which 884 residents contracted West Nile disease and 67 died.

Surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests on mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as testing sick horses and humans with West Nile-like disease symptoms. People who observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact their local health department.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common West Nile virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms.


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