|August 5, 2004||2004 West Nile Virus Web site|
HANCOCK COUNTY MOSQUITOES POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. The Illinois Department of Public Health today reported that a pool of mosquitoes collected July 29 in Hamilton in Hancock County has tested positive for West Nile virus.
Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, said the state has now counted three humans, 117 birds, 245 mosquito pools and two horses in 43 counties with West Nile virus since surveillance by the state and local health departments began May 1.
The human cases are a 67-year-old man from Jo Daviess County with West Nile encephalitis, a 39-year-old man from Jackson County with West Nile fever and a 14-year-old boy from St. Clair County with West Nile encephalitis.
In 2003, Illinois counted 54 human cases of West Nile disease, including one fatality, in 77 of the state's 102 counties reported. 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.
Dr. Whitaker said individuals can reduce their risk of West Nile disease and other mosquito-borne diseases by taking these precautions:
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.
Only about two persons out of 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Although illness from West Nile is usually mild and include fever, headache and body aches, serious illness and death are possible, particularly for persons over the age of 50 or persons that are immunosuppressed.
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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