Crow found in Loda tests positive for West Nile virus

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The total cases across the state this year stands at sixty-seven. While only slightly less than 20 percent of those infected with the virus will develop West Nile fever with mild symptoms (fever, headache, body aches, a skin rash on the chest or back and swollen lymph glands), one in 150 people infected will develop a severe infection (West Nile encephalitis or meningitis), health officials reported.

The LaSalle County Health Department has confirmed its first human case and death due to West Nile virus this year.

Last year, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported the first human West Nile virus death in Illinois on September 29.

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Ten sentinel chickens have tested positive for EEEV in 2018, one tested positive for Highlands J Virus and 21 tested positive for West Nile.

The DPH has elevated the risk level for acquiring the virus from an infected mosquito to moderate or high statewide.

For others, symptoms may occur within 2 to 15 days after infection.

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Almost 80 percent of people infected with WNV will not become ill. The individual confirmed to have West Nile Virus was diagnosed with the less severe form of the illness. "Today's announcement illustrates why we continue to urge everyone to be vigilant about avoiding mosquito bites".

- For additional protection from mosquitoes, use an insect repellent. People who observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay, or robin should contact the health department, which will determine if the bird will be picked up for testing. Make sure door and window screens fit tightly and all holes are repaired.

Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than two months of age. Fix or replace screens that have tears or holes. The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito eggs.

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