Bird found dead in Will County had West Nile virus
SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE June 19, 2012 3:14PM
Updated: June 19, 2012 11:06PM
A blue jay found dead in rural Will County was killed by West Nile virus, the county’s first confirmed disease activity for 2012.
The jay was found at a property on Fossil Ridge Road in an unincorporated area between Wilmington and Braidwood on June 7, a release from the Will County Health Department said. The bird was shipped to the Illinois Department of Public Health for analysis, and the virus was confirmed Monday.
Will County is the 13th in Illinois to confirm virus activity and the seventh in the last two weeks. “If current activity trends continue, the 2012 West NIle virus NV season will likely be a busy one,” the release said.
Only 19 counties reported virus activity during 2011, and through mid-June a year ago, only two counties had reported mosquito-borne activity.
Last year, Will County produced 25 virus-positive mosquito batches and one bird — a blue jay found in New Lenox and confirmed on Aug. 24.
No local mosquito batches have been confirmed in 2012, but mosquito populations are being monitored at testing sites around the county, the release said.
Hot dry weather may be accelerating the pace by creating an environment favorable for the northern house mosquito, the insect most often associated with West Nile virus.