|August 13, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
WNV POSITIVE BIRDS REPORTED IN SIX NEW COUNTIES
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health today reported that dead birds found in Adams, DeWitt, Greene, McDonough, Pike and Stark counties have tested positive for West Nile virus.
A total of two humans, 313 birds, 196 mosquito batches and three horses in 71 Illinois counties have tested positive this year for West Nile virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1. The state's two human cases a 22-year-old temporary resident of Cook County and a 57-year-old from Madison County were reported the week of Aug. 5.
A complete listing of the positive birds and mosquito batches identified so far in Illinois, by county, is available on the Departments Web site at < www.idph.state.il.us >. Go to the West Nile virus page and select 2002" under surveillance.
The Culex or house mosquito, which can carry West Nile virus or St. Louis encephalitis virus, breeds in warm, stagnant water and begins to increase in numbers early in the summer. Hot, humid weather conditions in recent weeks have been ideal for breeding the Culex mosquito and, as a result, there has been an increase in WNV activity.
Hospitals and infectious disease physicians have been notified of the increase in detection of birds with West Nile virus and reminded to order tests for arbovirus infections for patients with appropriate symptoms. Blood samples from all persons diagnosed with encephalitis and aseptic meningitis are being tested to determine if the diseases were caused by mosquitoes.
Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, said identification of positive birds, mosquito batches and horses, as well as the confirmation of two human cases, are reminders to citizens that the virus is present throughout the state and the following precautions should be taken to reduce the risk of any mosquito-borne disease:
In 2002, in addition to those identified in Illinois, more than 100 human cases of West Nile virus illness have been confirmed in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Washington, D.C.
Most people infected with West Nile virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Infections can be mild and include fever, headache and body aches, or severe and marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and, rarely, death. While everyone is at risk of West Nile disease, those at highest risk are persons 50 years of age or older.
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.
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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