State confirms first West Nile virus case this year in region

Alain Brian
Mai 31, 2017

There was one confirmed case of the mosquito-borne virus in 2015 and a probable case previous year.

Last year, 10 of the mosquito pools tested were found to be positive for West Nile Virus.

With summer on Durham's doorstep, the regional health department has started its annual surveillance and control program for the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus.

The first signs of West Nile Virus are popping up in IL. 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. Those who see a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact their county health department so the bird can be tested. Unlike West Nile, Sika can be transmitted from person to person through sex. That year, the state had 152 human cases of the virus, which is under reported, including five deaths, according to the department.

So far in 2017, there have been no reported human cases of West Nile.

Precautions include practicing the three "R's" - reduce, repel, and report. Try to keep doors and windows shut. The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito eggs.

"As a result, area residents are reminded to remove or cover any standing water around their homes to help reduce the development of mosquito larvae".

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found here.

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