First cases of 2012 West Nile reported in the area
SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE May 22, 2012 9:56PM
Updated: October 24, 2012 10:11PM
The West Nile virus has been detected in birds and mosquitoes in the Chicago area for the first time this year, the state announced Tuesday.
State workers collected a dead crow May 16 and mosquitoes May 17 from Clarendon Hills, Hinsdale, Lemont, Lisle, Norridge, Westmont and Woodridge that tested positive for the West Nile virus, the Illinois Department of Public Health said.
Last year, 19 Illinois counties reported the virus in birds, mosquitoes or humans, the department said. Thirty-four Illinois residents contracted the virus last year and three died.
“Although it is a little earlier in the season than we normally find West Nile virus positive mosquito pools and birds, it is not unheard of,” public health director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. “This is a good reminder as we head into the Memorial Day weekend and more people spend time outdoors, that it is important to protect yourself and wear insect repellent.”
The virus is transmitted through mosquitoes that have fed on an infected bird, the release said.
Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle ache, the release said. However, four out of five people infected don’t show any symptoms.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around the home and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, the department said.
Source: Illinois Department of Public Health