|June 3, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
EDGAR COUNTY CROW POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health today reported that a dead crow from Edgar County has tested positive for West Nile virus.
The crow was found in Paris May 26 and determined to be positive for the virus on Saturday (June 1) by the University of Illinois Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Urbana/Champaign.
This is the fifth dead bird in Illinois to test positive for West Nile virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began on May 1 and the first identified this year outside the Chicago metropolitan area. Other positives have been reported in Cook County (2) and Kane County (2). Although the virus has been detected in only three counties, it is likely that it is present in all 102 Illinois counties, said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director.
Dr. Lumpkin said the identification of these positive birds should serve as a reminder to Illinoisans that the virus is here and he recommended the following precautions to reduce the risk of mosquito bites:
Due to heavy rains and flooding this spring in Illinois, questions have been raised about an increased risk this year for mosquito-borne diseases. The mosquitoes that may breed as a result of flooding are commonly called floodwater or temporary pool mosquitoes and are not usually disease carriers. The Culex or house mosquito, which can carry West Nile virus or St. Louis encephalitis, breeds in warm, stagnant water and will begin to increase in numbers early in the summer.
Since 1999, when West Nile virus was first discovered in the United States in New York, the virus has been detected in 28 states as far west as Iowa and Missouri. This year, West Nile virus activity has been reported in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, as well as in Illinois. The virus has been found in birds and horses, but no human cases have been reported.
West Nile virus was first detected in Illinois in September 2001 when two dead crows from the Chicago metropolitan area tested positive for the virus. A total of 138 birds from seven Illinois counties (Cook, Crawford, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will) tested positive for the virus last year. In addition, two horses one from Cook County and one from Kane tested positive for the virus in 2001. There have been no human cases of West Nile encephalitis in Illinois residents in 2001 or 2002.
In the past three years, there have been 149 cases of West Nile encephalitis in the United States, mostly in the New York area, including 18 deaths.
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Department's Web site at <www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm>.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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