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First case of West Nile virus reported in Adams County

The Adams County Health Department is reporting the first positive test for West Nile Virus this year.

Officials said the staff collected mosquitoes that tested positive on September 18 in Quincy.

“The weather is still warm and favorable for West Nile virus activity,” said ACHD Environmental Health  Supervisor Tony Dede. “Although we see West Nile virus in Illinois every year, it’s still important to take precautions to protect yourself by wearing insect repellent and getting rid of standing water around your home.”

Monitoring West Nile virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests for mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays,
robins and other perching birds, as well as testing sick horses and humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex pipiens mosquito, commonly called a house mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache
and muscle aches.

Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.

However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis,or even death, can occur.

People older than 50 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report.

REDUCE – make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or
other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut. Eliminate, or refresh each week, all sources of standing
water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in birdbaths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and
any other containers.
REPEL – when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
REPORT – report dead birds to your local health department to help monitor for West Nile virus.

Don Dwyer

Don Dwyer is a Morning Anchor/Reporter at WGEM.

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