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Misc. News : Non-food Things Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

22 Americans infected with West Nile so far this year
By Ben Wasserman
Jul 12, 2008 - 11:07:27 AM

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Mosquito. Credit: Illinois Department of Public Health
SATURDAY July 12, 2008 ( -- The Illinois Department of Public Health announced July 10 that the state has been notified that first birds infected with West Nile Virus this year were found in Winnebago County.

“These positive results remind us that we need to protect ourselves against mosquitoes, especially with all the recent flooding,” said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director.

“As the waters from the flooding recede and pools of water are left behind, we’ll start seeing more and more mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus. I urge everyone to get rid of any stagnant water around their homes to reduce the number of mosquitoes, and to make sure you wear insect repellent to protect yourself.”

Winnebago county health department notified the state that the positive crows were actually collected on June 24 in Rockford.

The state on May 23 reported the first positive mosquitoes collected in Tazewell County and DuPage County.   Adams, Cook, Jackson, and St. Clair have also later reported west Nile in mosquitoes this year.

Last year, 46 in the 102 counties in the Illinois reported west Nile in birds, mosquitoes, horses or humans.   A total of 101 human cases of west Nile including four deaths were reported last year in the state.

No human infection has been reported yet this year.

Nationwide this year, as of July 8, 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had received a total of human cases of West Nile with 1 in Arizona, 3 in California, 8 in Mississippi, 3 in North Dakota, 2 in Oklahoma, 1 in South Dakota, 1 in Tennessee and 3 in Texas.

Surveillance for West Nile virus in the state of Illinois began on May 1 and laboratory tests are conducted on mosquitoes, dead crows, blue jays, robins, and other perching birds, as well a sick horses and humans with West Nile virus symptoms.

Humans get infected with West Nile virus often through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.

About 80 percent of people with the virus do not experience any symptoms, but some become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

Often the first human case in Illinois is not reported until July or later, the State health department says in its statement released July 10.

About 20 percent of people who are bitten by mosquitoes experience symptoms including fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness, according to the state health department, is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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