||Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM
FRIDAY May 23, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced mosquito samples collected in Tazewell County and Dupage County have been confirmed as the first positive test results in Illinois this year for West Nile virus.
The state health agency was notified by Tazewell and Dupage County Health Department of the findings as part of its routine surveillance for West Nile virus.
The positive samples were collected on May 16 in Creve Coeur and on May 19 in Bartlett.
"It's not unexpected to receive a report of the first positive West Nile virus mosquitoes this time of May in Illinois.” said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director.
"West Nile virus activity has been present in the state since August 2001 and we expected to see activity again this year. This positive report should serve as a reminder to people to take precautions to protect themselves against mosquitoes."
Last year, the first positive mosquito sample was reported on May 7 in Dupage County. In 2007, 46 out of the state's 102 counties were found at least to have a West Nile-infected bird, mosquito, horse or human case.
In 2007, 101 people were infected with West Nile disease, which caused 4 deaths in the state of Illinois. The first infection in humans in Illinois is often reported in July or later.
People get infected with West Nile virus through a bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. Mosquitoes can get the virus by feeding on an infected bird.
About 20 percent of the people who are bitten by an infected mosquito may experience an illness three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches. In serious cases, encephalitis and meningitis and death can result from an infection. People older than 50 years of age are considered at high risk of West Nile.
To avoid West Nile virus infections, people need to avoid bites of infected mosquitoes, according to the Illinois state health department.
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