There have been cases of West Nile virus found in birds, mosquitoes or horses in five counties so far this year, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, but no cases in people.
The health department said it is continuing surveillance and also conducting mosquito abatement efforts. Monitoring includes testing mosquito batches and dead birds.
The virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has become infected by feeding on a bird carrying the disease. It can be spread to people, although only about one in five show any symptoms and about one in 150 infected people develop severe symptoms, which can include encephalitis, meningitis or death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The health department asks that people report locations in which water is sitting stagnant for more than a week, such as ditches and yards. People also should eliminate or add fresh water weekly to standing water in ponds, bird baths, flower pots and wading pools because mosquitoes can breed there.
West Nile virus first was detected in Illinois in September 2001. There have been positive cases found in birds, mosquitoes or horses in five counties so far this year, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, but no cases in people.
There were 2,694 positive cases in animals — the majority in mosquitoes — and 64 in people last year, according to the state health department. Five people statewide died from the disease during 2021; they ranged in age from 11 to 89 years old, according to the state health department.
source: Jacksonville Journal-Courier