June 1, 2006
NORTHERN COOK COUNTY MOSQUITO SAMPLE TESTS FOR WEST NILE VIRUS
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Samples from two collections of mosquitoes in Northern Cook County have tested positive for West Nile virus, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced.
One mosquito sample was collected May 18 in Skokie and determined to be positive for the virus by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) staff. The second sample was collected May 24 by IDPH staff, in unincorporated Northern Cook County, near Norridge – Thatcher and Berteau.
These positive mosquito samples mark the second and third positive mosquito samples for West Nile Virus this year. The first positive mosquito sample was collected in DuPage County on May 22.
Surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois began May 1st and includes laboratory tests on mosquitoes, dead crows, blue jays and robins, and the testing of sick horses and humans with West Nile-like disease symptoms. Citizens who observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay or robin should contact their local health department, which will determine if the bird is to be picked up for testing.
West Nile virus 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. The first human case in Illinois is not usually reported until July or later.
Only about two persons out of 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. Persons older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include:
Public health officials believe that a hot summer could increase mosquito activity and the risk of disease from West Nile virus.
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 West Nile Virus Hotline at 866-369-9710 Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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