KeepHealthCare.ORG – West Nile Virus found in Henry County | Local
KEWANEE — Officials with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments on Thursday announced they have received the first positive test for West Nile Virus this year in a mosquito batch found in Henry County.
“The fact that West Nile Viral Encephalitis is now in Henry County is not a cause for alarm, as our advice to the public remains the same: to minimize exposure to mosquitoes, while seeking out and eliminating breeding sites,” said Dorothy David, Henry and Stark County Health Department Environmental Health Director.
So far this year, the virus has been found in 18 Illinois counties, including Rock Island, where it was found in a mosquito collected in Moline on June 21, and Bureau County, where it was collected on June 20 and June 22 from three mosquitoes on the Hennepin Canal about 50 miles east of the Quad-Cities.
Monitoring for 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.
The 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. People older than 60 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.