|June 14, 2004||2004 West Nile Virus Web site|
COOK AND MACON COUNTY BIRDS TEST POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Dead birds collected in Cook and Macon counties have tested positive for West Nile virus, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced.
A dead crow was found June 3 in Chicago. In suburban Cook County, a dead crow was collected June 3 in Berwyn and a dead blue jay was found on the same day in Palatine. Two dead crows were collected June 8 in Decatur. The birds were tested at the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine at Urbana-Champaign and the positive results were reported today to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
A total of 27 birds in 17 counties have now been confirmed positive for West Nile virus in Illinois since state and local health departments began surveillance for the mosquito-borne disease on May 1. No human cases have been reported.
Other positive birds have been reported in the following counties: Adams, Boone, Champaign (2), DuPage (2), Kane, Kankakee (3), Lake, Madison (2), McHenry, McLean (2), Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson (2), Vermilion and Winnebago. In addition, two mosquito pools in DuPage County have been confirmed positive for West Nile.
In 2003, 75 of the states 102 counties had a West Nile positive bird, mosquito, horse or human. A total of 54 human cases of West Nile disease, including one fatality, were reported last year in Illinois. In 2002, the state led the nation with 884 human cases and 66 deaths, and West Nile activity was reported in 100 of 102 counties.
Surveillance for West Nile virus includes collecting dead crows and blue jays. Citizens who observe a sick or dying crow or blue jay should contact their local health department, which will determine if the bird is to be picked up for testing.
WNV is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
West Nile infections can be mild and include fever, headache and body aches, or can be severe and marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and, rarely, death. Serious West Nile virus illness is most often present in individuals 50 years of age or older.
Dr. Whitaker said individuals can reduce their risk of West Nile disease and other mosquito-borne diseases by taking these precautions:
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Department's Web site at : www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm or people can call the Department's West Nile virus hotline (866-369-9710) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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