|July 11, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
DEKALB, SANGAMON AND WILL COUNTY BIRDS TEST POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health today reported that dead crows found in DeKalb, Sangamon and Will counties have tested positive for West Nile virus by the Illinois Department of Agriculture Laboratory in Galesburg.
A dead crow was found July 8 in DeKalb in DeKalb County and July 7 in Springfield in Sangamon County. Two dead crows were found in Will County, one in Joliet on July 5 and one in Monee on July 8.
A total of 29 birds in Illinois have tested positive this year for West Nile virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1. Other positive birds have been reported in Champaign County (1), Clark County (1), Cook County (4), DuPage County (8), Edgar County (2), Jackson County (2), Kane County (2), Kankakee County (1), Lake County (1), Stephenson County (1), Vermilion County (1) and Whiteside County (1). Two mosquito pools from Cook County also have tested positive for West Nile virus. No human cases of West Nile encephalitis have been reported in Illinois.
Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, said identification of positive birds is a reminder that the virus is present in the state and the following precautions should be taken to reduce the risk of any mosquito-borne disease:
Due to heavy rains and flooding, 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.
West Nile virus activity has been reported this year in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington D.C., as well as Illinois.
While most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms of illness, some may become ill, usually three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. When people do become ill, symptoms may be mild, such as a fever or headache. In some individuals, however, particularly the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, West Nile virus can cause serious disease that includes inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), muscle weakness, high fever, convulsions, paralysis, coma or death.
West Nile virus was first confirmed 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.
In the past three years, there have been 150 human cases of West Nile encephalitis in the United States, mostly in the New York area, including 18 deaths.
2002 West Nile virus surveillance information can be found on the Department's Web site at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnvsurveillance_data_02.htm.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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