A press release from the McHenry County Public Health Department:
Bird tests positive for West Nile virus
WOODSTOCK IL – McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) reports a crow collected in Woodstock on August 17 has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).
This is the first bird that has tested positive for West Nile Virus in McHenry County this year.
Four of 345 mosquito batches have also tested positive for West Nile Virus in McHenry County in 2015. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), there have been 23 WNV positive birds, 43 counties with positive mosquito batches, and three reported human cases in Illinois so far this year.
Last year State health officials reported 44 human cases of WNV in Illinois, including four fatalities. McHenry County reported one positive human case of West Nile virus in 2014.
Transmission of WNV is predominantly by Culex mosquitoes, which have picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Illness from West Nile virus is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches but serious illnesses, such as encephalitis and meningitis and death, are possible. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. Persons 50 and older are at highest risk of severe disease.
The risk of disease from West Nile virus remains until the first hard frost. The best way to prevent WNV is to reduce the number of mosquito breeding sites around your home and to take personal precautions.
- Empty standing water from containers around the house; make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active (dusk, dawn); use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus; wear long sleeved shirts and long pants for extra protection.
For more information on WNV, visit www.mcdh.info (Environmental Health) or call 815-334-4585.