West Nile Virus present in several counties

By Alyssa Donovan

September 10, 2013 Updated Sep 10, 2013 at 10:49 AM CDT

54 counties in Illinois have reported positive signs of West Nile Virus this year including positive mosquito collections and positive birds.

3 human cases have also been reported.

Positive signs of West Nile Virus have been reported in both Tazewell County and McLean County.

McLean County Health Department's Kera Simon Brossette says the lack of rain is increasing the risk of West Nile Virus.

Brossette said, "Dry and hot is whenever we see West Nile Virus increasing because rain isn't washing away the mosquito breading grounds."

Several collections of mosquitoes have tested positive in Mclean County.

2 birds have also tested positive one in Bloomington and one in Normal on Constitution trail.

Brossette said, "Positive mosquito collection sites have been both east and west of Bloomington Normal. So we know West Nile is present in our community. We're really just trying to stay diligent in informing people to take those precautionary steps because the disease is completely preventable."

No human cases have been reported in Mclean County however one has been reported in Tazewell County.
Tazewell County health department's Sarah Sparkman suggests taking precautions especially during dawn and dusk.

Sparkman said, "Make sure there is no standing water around your house, dump out any bird baths refresh that water on a daily or weekly basis for sure. The other thing we want people to do is if your outside between dusk and dawn make sure you are using something with deet in it."

Sparkman says West Nile Virus presents itself like a cold and 4 out of 5 people don't even know they have it.

The people with more severe cases are the ones who are typically tested.

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