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More West Nile Virus detected in Will County

Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 10:55 p.m. CDT

Tests of mosquitoes in two Will County communities have turned up positive for West Nile Virus, the Will County Health Department announced Thursday.

Two mosquito samples collected earlier this week in Frankfort and Crete tested positive for the virus, bringing the county’s tally of positive samples to seven, according a county health department press release.

A cool and wet early summer had initially resulted in a slow start for West Nile Virus detection, but increases are now being reported across the state. Will County is one of about 25 counties in Illinois to have confirmed West Nile Virus in birds or mosquitoes this year.

Nearly 100 mosquito batches or birds statewide have yielded positive results for the virus. Positives have been confirmed in several Chicago-area counties. About 2/3 of all positive samples came from Chicago-area counties, according to the release. There were 13 West Nile Virus-related fatalities and 117 human infections in Illinois last year.

Signs and symptoms

Most people infected with the virus experience no symptoms although the disease can cause serious illness or death. If they do occur, symptoms – which include fever, head and muscle aches, chills, vomiting and disorientation – usually surface within two weeks of infection.

Mosquitoes infected with the virus often breed in old tires, planters, rain barrels, catch basins and stagnant water. Property owners are encouraged to dump containers capable of holding water – which helps deprive the insects of breeding opportunities.

Insect repellent is also encouraged when venturing outdoors, the release stated.

The Health Department continues to collect a limited amount of birds for West Nile Virus testing. To report a dead bird at your location, or for general West Nile Virus information, telephone 815-740-7631.

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