Two crows found in Rockford's 61104 and 61088 zip codes have tested positive for the West Nile virus.
According to Larry Swacina, Environmental Health Director for the Winnebago County Health Department, the findings are not surprising. "West Nile virus has been confirmed to be present in Winnebago County for the 10th year in a row. Based on the hot dry weather and the early onset of positive mosquito and birds with WNV indicate we are entering the period of high risk for WNV infection in humans. To date this season, there has not been any human cases reported in Winnebago County."
While recent heat conditions have eliminated floodwater mosquitoes, conditions favor the culex mosquito, which is the primary carrier of WNV. High temperatures also accelerate WNV multiplication in the insect and mosquitoes feeding on birds since both animals are concentrated in shrinking pools of stagnant water.
There have been 30 counties in Illinois with cases of WNV reported in birds, mosquitoes, and/or humans. There were only 19 counties affected last year.
For more information on how West Nile is spread, its symptoms, and how to avoid it, see here.
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