|August 22, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
CUMBERLAND, WASHINGTON, WAYNE BIRDS POSITIVE FOR WNV
SPRINGFIELD, IL The number of Illinois counties reporting West Nile virus activity grew by three today with the confirmation that dead blue jays found in Cumberland, Washington and Wayne counties have tested positive for the mosquito-transmitted virus.
A total of 19 humans, including one death; 426 birds; 236 mosquito batches; and 23 horses in 88 of the state's 102 counties have tested positive this year for West Nile virus since surveillance for the virus began May 1.
A complete listing of the positive birds, mosquito batches, horses and humans identified so far in Illinois, by county, is available on the Department's Web site at < www.idph.state.il.us >. Go to the West Nile virus page and select "2002" under surveillance.
Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, has urged people throughout Illinois to take some simple steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites:
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 the rapid development and activity of the Culex mosquito and, as a result, there has been a jump in the number of positives.
Hospitals and infectious disease physicians have been notified of the increase in detection of birds, mosquitoes and horses with West Nile virus and reminded to order tests for arbovirus infections for patients with appropriate symptoms.
Most people infected with West Nile virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Infections can be mild and include fever, headache or body aches, or severe and marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, coma and, rarely, death. West Nile virus illness in Illinois has been reported in people ranging in age from 2 to 85, but serious illness is most often present in individuals 50 years of age or older.
West Nile virus was first confirmed in Illinois in September 2001 when dead crows from Cook and DuPage counties 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
Questions or Comments