|July 15, 2004||2004 West Nile Virus Web site|
MERCER COUNTY MOSQUITOES POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. The Illinois Department of Public Health today reported that two pools of mosquitoes collected Tuesday in Keithsburg in Mercer County have tested positive for West Nile virus.
A total of 73 mosquito pools and 81 birds in 28 counties have now been confirmed with West Nile virus since state and local health departments began surveillance on May 1. No human cases of West Nile disease have been reported.
Besides Mercer County, West Nile positive mosquito pools have been reported in Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, Lake, Macon, McHenry, McLean, Saline and Will counties. Positive birds have been identified in Adams, Boone, Bureau, Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Henry, Kane, Kankakee, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Macon, Madison, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Ogle, Peoria, Rock Island, Stephenson, Vermilion, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago, and Woodford counties.
In 2003, 75 of the state's 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. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, 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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