West Nile virus found in DuPage County
Sun-Times Media May 22, 2012 6:56PM
Updated: July 2, 2012 10:04AM
The West Nile virus has been detected in birds and mosquitoes in the Chicago area for the first time this year, the state announced Tuesday.
State workers collected a dead crow May 16 and mosquitoes May 17 from Clarendon Hills, Hinsdale, Lemont, Lisle, Norridge, Westmont and Woodridge that tested positive for the West Nile virus, according to a release from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Last year, 19 Illinois counties reported the virus in birds, mosquitoes or humans, the release said. Thirty-four Illinois residents contracted the virus last year and three died.
“Although it is a little earlier in the season than we normally find West Nile virus positive mosquito pools and birds, it is not unheard of,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. “This is a good reminder as we head into the Memorial Day weekend and more people spend time outdoors, that it is important to protect yourself and wear insect repellent.”
The virus is transmitted through mosquitoes that have fed on an infected bird.
Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. However, many people don’t show any symptoms.
The best way to prevent the disease is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around the home and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, the release said.